Recently the discussion about Pro-Abortion Catholics and reception of the Eucharist has caught much attention. Within this discussion, people are pondering the question should Pro-Abortion Catholics be able to receive the Eucharist, and is it in the priest's place to deny a Catholic the Eucharist if they support Pro-Abortion politicians or policies?
Many argue that Pro-Abortion Catholics should be denied the Eucharist, whereas others argue that they should NOT be denied the sacrament. Some individuals even goes as far as to argue that Pro-Abortion Catholics (specifically those who are open advocates for abortion such as Pro-Abortion politicians) should be excommunicated from the Church.
In fact, recently the U.S. Bishops participated in a vote about drafting a document that would highlight and focus on the meaning of the Eucharist and the reception of it. Within the Church, many Bishops have come forward seeking more consistency in the teaching on the Eucharist and the severity of receiving it. This conversation has been moved to the forefront for many Catholics since the inauguration of President Biden in the United States. Although Biden claims to be a practicing Catholic, his position on fundamental Catholic teachings (such as the sanctity of life) are contrary to his policies. Due to this many are arguing that Pro-Abortion politicians should NOT receive the Eucharist. As we are well aware, the Eucharist is not something that can be or should be taken lightly. Reception of the Eucharist is a serious thing, as St. Paul noted in 1 Corinthians 11:23-34.
Individuals are noticing that it seems Pro-Abortion politicians who identify as 'Catholic' are using their 'religious orientation' as a means to gain votes from Church members despite their view contradicting their 'religious identity'. God has given us the ability and will to discern what we deem as 'correct' (even if it isn't 'correct' per say) and make our own decisions. Although a Christian person may perceive something as correct, they may find it to be contradictory to what they are supposed to be believe and follow as Christians. Due to this some Christians struggle with their understanding of what the Church teaches on the matter and whether or not it aligns with their political opinions.
To help bridge this divide or confusion about what the Church teaches when it comes to the Eucharist and Pro-Abortion politicians/policies, we will briefly be looking at what is taught in the Catechism.
First let's discuss what the Catechism teaches about the Eucharist.
CCC 1324-1327 shows us what is the meaning of the Eucharist in our Christian life.
1324 The Eucharist is "the source and summit of the Christian life." "The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch."
1325 "The Eucharist is the efficacious sign and sublime cause of that communion in the divine life and that unity of the People of God by which the Church is kept in being. It is the culmination both of God's action sanctifying the world in Christ and of the worship men offer to Christ and through him to the Father in the Holy Spirit."
1326 Finally, by the Eucharistic celebration we already unite ourselves with the heavenly liturgy and anticipate eternal life, when God will be all in all.
1327 In brief, the Eucharist is the sum and summary of our faith: "Our way of thinking is attuned to the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn confirms our way of thinking."
CCC 1385-1389 teaches us who the Eucharist is intended for and how we must be faithful Christians in order to receive the Eucharist
1385 To respond to this invitation we must prepare ourselves for so great and so holy a moment. St. Paul urges us to examine our conscience: "Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself." Anyone conscious of a grave sin must receive the sacrament of Reconciliation before coming to communion.
1386 Before so great a sacrament, the faithful can only echo humbly and with ardent faith the words of the Centurion: "Domine, non sum dignus ut intres sub tectum meum, sed tantum dic verbo, et sanabitur anima mea" ("Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul will be healed."). and in the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom the faithful pray in the same spirit:
O Son of God, bring me into communion today with your mystical supper. I shall not tell your enemies the secret, nor kiss you with Judas' kiss. But like the good thief I cry, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."
1387 To prepare for worthy reception of this sacrament, the faithful should observe the fast required in their Church. Bodily demeanor (gestures, clothing) ought to convey the respect, solemnity, and joy of this moment when Christ becomes our guest.
1388 It is in keeping with the very meaning of the Eucharist that the faithful, if they have the required dispositions, receive communion each time they participate in the Mass. As the Second Vatican Council says: "That more perfect form of participation in the Mass whereby the faithful, after the priest's communion, receive the Lord's Body from the same sacrifice, is warmly recommended."
1389 The Church obliges the faithful "to take part in the Divine Liturgy on Sundays and feast days" and, prepared by the sacrament of Reconciliation, to receive the Eucharist at least once a year, if possible during the Easter season. But the Church strongly encourages the faithful to receive the holy Eucharist on Sundays and feast days, or more often still, even daily.
The Catechism makes it clear, specifically in paragraph CCC 1385 that one must not be in a state of mortal sin/ grave sin when receiving the Eucharist.
But what is a mortal sin?
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that mortal sin actively 'turns man away from God' (CCC 1855).
There are some conditions that need to be met for a sin to be considered mortal. These conditions are: the sin has to be a sin of grave matter, the sin is committed with full knowledge and the sin is committed with full consent (CCC 1857).
The Catechism teaches that although sin is a 'personal act', individuals can participate and become responsible for another person's sins if they collaborate/participate in them (1868).
1868 Sin is a personal act. Moreover, we have a responsibility for the sins committed by others when we cooperate in them:
by participating directly and voluntarily in them;
by ordering, advising, praising, or approving them;
by not disclosing or not hindering them when we have an obligation to do so;
by protecting evil-doers.
Notice the Catechism takes note that we have responsibility in 'sins committed by others when we cooperate in them'. This means that an individual has responsibility in the sin if they participate in the sin. Participation in the sin can be done by participating directly/indirectly in the sin , approving of the sin, not hindering the sin from being committed, or if we protect those committing the sin.
2270 Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person - among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth.
2271 Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law:
You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish.
God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves.
Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes.
2272 Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. "A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae," "by the very commission of the offense," and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law. The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.
2273 The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of a civil society and its legislation: "The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority. These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took his origin. Among such fundamental rights one should mention in this regard every human being's right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception until death." "The moment a positive law deprives a category of human beings of the protection which civil legislation ought to accord them, the state is denying the equality of all before the law. When the state does not place its power at the service of the rights of each citizen, and in particular of the more vulnerable, the very foundations of a state based on law are undermined.... As a consequence of the respect and protection which must be ensured for the unborn child from the moment of conception, the law must provide appropriate penal sanctions for every deliberate violation of the child's rights."
The Catechism clearly teaches that abortion goes against moral law and that it is our job as Christians to defend life from conception until natural death. Anything contrary is going against MORAL LAW.
To summarize what we just learned:
When a politician, a member of society, or even a group as a whole (Pro-Abortion advocates) support abortion they are going against Moral Law and therefore are currently in a state of mortal sin and therefore are in NO POSITION to be taking the Eucharist unless they confess their sins and have every intention to turn away from that sin.