ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (AP) — Pope Francis said Wednesday that Catholic bishops must minister with “compassion and tenderness,” not condemnation, to politicians who support abortion rights and warned that clerics shouldn’t let politics enter into questions about receiving Communion.
Francis was asked en route home from Slovakia about the debate in the U.S. church about whether President Joe Biden and other politicians should be denied Communion because of their stances on abortion. U.S. bishops have agreed to draft a “teaching document” that many of them hope will rebuke Catholic politicians, including Biden, for receiving Communion despite their support for abortion rights.
Francis declined to give a “yes” or “no” answer, saying he didn’t know the U.S. case well enough. He repeated that abortion was “homicide,” and that Catholic priests cannot give the Eucharist to someone who is not in communion with the church. He cited the case of a Jew, or someone who isn’t baptized or who has fallen away from the church.
Most importantly, he said, was that priests and bishops must respond pastorally and not politically to any problem that comes before them. He said they must use “the style of God” to accompany the faithful with “closeness, compassion and tenderness.”
“And what should pastors do? Be pastors, and not go condemning, condemning,” Francis said.
Francis recalled cases when the church had held fast to a principle on political grounds and it ended badly, citing the Inquisition-era condemnation of Giordano Bruno for alleged heresy. He was burned at the stake in Rome’s Campo dei Fiori.
“Whenever the church, in order to defend a principle, didn’t do it pastorally, it has taken political sides,” Francis said. “If a pastor leaves the pastorality of the church, he immediately becomes a politician.”
Francis said he had never denied Communion to anyone, though he said he never knowingly had a pro-abortion politician before him, either. And he admitted he once gave Communion to an elderly woman who, after the fact, confessed that she was Jewish.
Francis repeated his belief that the Eucharist “is not a prize for the perfect” but rather “a gift of the presence of Jesus in the church.” But he was unequivocal that it cannot be given to anyone who is not “in communion” with the church, though he declined to say if a pro-abortion politician was out of communion.
He was similarly unequivocal that abortion is murder, and that even a weeks-old embryo is a human life that must be protected.
“If you have an abortion, you kill,” Francis said. “That’s why the church is so tough on this issue, because if you accept this, you accept homicide daily.”
U.S. bishops agreed in June that the conference doctrine committee will draft a statement on the meaning of Communion in the life of the church that will be submitted for consideration, probably an in-person gathering in November. To be formally adopted, the document would need support of two-thirds of the bishops.
Despite the short flight back from Bratislava, the Slovak capital, Francis fielded an unusually wide array of questions. Among other things he said:
—That he couldn’t understand why some people refuse to take COVID-19 vaccines, saying “humanity has a history of friendship with vaccines” and that serene discussion was necessary to help them.
—That states can and should pass civil laws to allow homosexual couples to have inheritance rights and health care coverage, but that the church couldn’t accept gay marriage because marriage is a sacrament between a man and woman. “Marriage is marriage. This doesn’t mean condemning people who are like this. No, please! They are our brothers and sisters and we have to accompany them.”
—That his surgery to remove 33 centimeters (13 inches) of his colon in July wasn’t easy, despite those who have marveled at how well he had recovered. “It wasn’t cosmetic surgery,” he quipped.
© 2021 The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.
This content is published through a licensing agreement with Acquire Media using its NewsEdge technology.
Pope Francis said Wednesday that Catholic bishops must minister with “compassion and tenderness,” not condemnation,</strong. to politicians who support abortion rights (Murder) and warned that clerics shouldn’t let politics enter into questions about receiving Communion.
By this the Pope is saying All sins are acceptable to Catholics. I DO NOT believe Jesus Christ is going to agree with this Pope.
I agree with “”YOU””” and I’m a Southern Baptist. hell’s heatin up.
The catholic church also believes in paying off children and their parents who were sexually abuse by priests, While allowing the same priests to continue with their pedophilia. Says a lot about the catholic papal and their idea of right and wrong.
Your comment really isn’t true. Yes, it was done in the past. The Catholic Church was NOT the only institution in the world with this sort of problem. They have, however, been the one most vilified and about which press stories keep being published. Sexual abuse of minors (and it is never OK) has happened, and continues to happen, in schools, sports, scouts, every other denomination of church, and families.
Currently the Catholic Church is one of the safest places for young people because the entirely wrong behavior has largely been acknowledged and dealt with. At the height of the scandalous behavior about 3-4% of priests were engaged in never acceptable behavior. That number is now down to below 1% due to safe guards instituted a number of years ago. For perspective, the rate of pedophilia in the general public is 8-10%.
For the record, a priest entering the seminary now and for at least the last 10-15 years, has been required to undergo extensive psychological testing, a strict and deep background check, and any suggesting of improper behavior will deem them unable to attend. A few have managed to sneak past all those safe guards but when they are found they are removed.
That is simply NOT so.
AND Folks wonder, WHY I AM AGNOSTIC. IF this imbecil, is the ‘highest official, in chistindom, then what does that say about the REST of the church.
Don’t judge all who CLAIM to be Christians by the deeds of a few evil pretenders.
It’s sad you’re agnostic. I’ve read your post in the past and in my opinion you’d be a good asset to the kingdom of Heaven. Earthly churches aren’t perfect because they are run by human beings and human beings aren’t perfect. The real and true church is the one run by Jesus Christ himself, but that’s a ways into the future when he establishes his church on earth. I would suggest you read Revelation, especially the first 4 chapters. Jesus gives the earthly churches a real good chewing out for falling short of the word of God. These churches are under different names but you can easily change the names to Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist, and so on. No church will be left out in this chewing out.
With all the crapolium, i’ve seen from the roman catholic church, the christian church and many others, ANY FORM OF established religion, is imo too ROTTEN..
It seems we’re having a lack of morality edition here on GOPUSA today and who better to lead it than Pope Francis.
A teaching document for politicians? the Bible is God’s teaching document. This pope needs to tell his priests to preach it. Instead he sounds like Joe Biden, saying one thing one second, and something else the next.
Bingo! “the Bible is God’s teaching document.”
I personally do not have any use for religions. Most religions are either a business or a cult.
I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I Love, Worship and try to obey GOD and his son Jesus Christ. I thank GOD for his blessing and I read the Word of GOD, the Holy Bible. I do Not Hate anyone, but I do disagree, disapprove and try to avoid many types of behavior.
I pray to GOD that I behave in a manner that is acceptable and pleasing to him.
I am surprised there is not a big article, about the whole degeneracy from Lil Nax and others, at the MTV video music awards..
Doesn’t this pope realize that abortion is NOT a political issue. It is against the teachings of the Bible and the Catholic church. That is not politics, it is a sinful abomination. The bishops are being faithful to their vows when they condemn abortion and those politicians who work so hard to proliferate it. When those politicians claim to be good Catholics, they are both lying to their voters and lying to themselves. I was always taught that you could not receive Communion if you had a mortal sin on your soul. These sinners should not be given Communion.
ITS not that he ‘doesn’t realize’. ITS THAT HE JUST DOESN’T CARE.. SO far, every damn call he has made, has been AGAINST the teachings of the bible…
Biblical examples of the murder of children are:
Egyptians killing many of the Hebrew boys as an Old Testament form of birth control
Offering babies as human sacrifices to Molech; one of several false gods
Herod ordering the killing of little boys in an attempt to be rid of the King of the Jews; Jesus Christ the Lord
Murder is murder regardless of the year it is committed and regardless of the age of the victim.
Will all due respect, Pope Francis (admittedly I haven’t respected a Pope since Pope John Paul, II), it sure SOUNDS like YOUR proclamation to allow politicians who go against Church teachings to still received communion is purely political!
Either the teachings of the Church MEAN SOMETHING, or they don’t.
Let’s see… Pedophile Priests: Okay; Politicians who promote abortion: Okay; Politicians who have extra-marital affairs: Okay.
You just want to make that a part of OFFICIAL Church Teachings?
YOU DAMN Liberal Hypocrite!
Confess YOUR sins, and RESIGN!
IF anything, he needs to be burned at the stake, for HERRACY!
Pope Francis is correct that issues should be dealt with in love and compassion. However, it is NOT loving or compassionate to allow someone to live in mortal sin without being rebuked (and Jesus tells us we must rebuke the sinner in a charitable way) and then to allow them to heap additional sin on themselves by persisting in the sin and receiving Holy Eucharist while not in a state of grace. If you REALLY care about someone you will do what is best for their immortal soul.
As for politicizing Eucharist it seems to me that those who are wearing their faith on their sleeve by boasting of their devout Catholic faith while spitting on the core beliefs of that faith are the ones making it into a political issue. If you have to tell everyone how faithful and devout you are there is a good chance you are not.
Many of the cafeteria Catholic politicians have politicized things by daring priests and bishops to deny them Holy Eucharist and claiming it as their right. Eucharist is not a right, it is a privilege and a grace which is undeserved by anyone truth be told. Jesus deigns to come down to earth in this Holy Sacrifice and feed the faithful with his own Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity. To receive rightly is to receive with a sense of humility and being graced while unworthy.
“Francis declined to give a “yes” or “no” answer, saying he didn’t know the U.S. case well enough”. Pope Francis, you don’t know Biden’s pro abortion stance well enough? I know what the problem is Pope Francis, you are a socialist / communist just like Joe!
Not surprised that this pope would make such a statement. The support of politicians to murder the most innocent for political and financial gain must disqualify everyone from communion if not what does?
Pope Francis is correct in telling priests not to condemn politicians for political reasons. A priest should not administer or withhold Communion according to a politician’s party affiliation or the priest’s political views.
He is also correct, though it was barely reported by the Leftstream Media, in saying that a priest absolutely should withhold Communion for religious reasons; e.g., being “outside of the community” of the Roman Catholic Church by virtue of being a pro-abortion politician.
There are no apparent requirements to be deemed a “good Catholic” under this papal statement.
UNREPENTANT abortionists and other mass murderers are welcome in the church.
Wayward priests and other child molesters are still “good Catholics.”
Long gone is any connection whatsoever to the moral / ethical teachings of the holy Word of God.
“Just continue in your evil and debauchery then remain one of with us, the representatives of God in this world.”
(Pardon me if I barf on the clean white robe of His (corrupted) “Holiness.”)
His Holiness simply does not understand the role of “Peter”, the Church’s universal pastor.
The Church doesn’t “accompany”. The Church teaches, guides, directs. That’s love.
The American Catholic bishops can’t vote on anything.
St Paul teaches the unworthy reception of the Eucharist is SIN.
Case Closed. Someone get Francis a Catechism and a Bible.
This Pope gets his money and waves it as ok, it’s scam, denounce them all…