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Why rush to judgment?

December 1, 2014

In his recent interview with Norah O’Donnell on CBS, Chicago Abp. Blase Cupich spoke with a flat affect (complicated by several fits and starts) such that I could not always tell where one thought ended and another began, especially on some controversial topics such as holy Communion for pro-abortion Catholics. But from what I gathered watching the interview a couple of times and from reading written reports on it, Cupich seems not to have answered O’Donnell’s straight-forward question about whether he would withhold holy Communion from notorious pro-abortion Catholic politicos. What the prelate seemed actually to say on the matter, however, made sense to me: namely, that he would not initiate discussions of one’s eligibility for holy Communion at the Communion rail. If that’s really what he said (and if that’s what he meant) such an initial approach is obviously prudent: Cupich is new to Chicago—I can only imagine it takes some time to get up to speed on the politics of that place.

If, on the other hand, Cupich critics are right (and they might be right, who knows yet?), namely, that the chief promoter of ecclesiastical discipline in the particular Church of Chicago (see Canon 392) has no intention of withholding holy Communion from persons who obstinately persevere in manifest grave sin (see Canon 915), then, yes, the Church in Chicago has a serious problem on its hands.

In any case, might I suggest waiting a bit longer to find out and praying, in the meantime, that sound decisions are reached by those responsible to make them?

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