Skip to comments.NJ archbishop sets strict rules barring Catholics from the sacraments
Posted on 10/13/2015 5:57:45 PM PDT by markomalley
Even as Pope Francis and Catholic leaders from around the world debate ways to make the Catholic Church more inclusive, Newark Archbishop John Myers has given his priests strict guidelines on refusing Communion to Catholics who, for example, support gay marriage or join an organization that rejects Church teaching.
In the two-page memo, Myers also orders parishes and Catholic institutions not to host people or organizations that disagree with the Church.
He says Catholics, “especially ministers and others who represent the Church, should not participate in or be present at religious events or events intended to endorse or support those who reject or ignore Church teaching and Canon Law.”
The new rules could raise eyebrows, given that Francis is currently leading a high-level Vatican summit, called a synod, where he and some 270 bishops are debating whether to let divorced and remarried Catholics receive Communion, and how to be more welcoming to cohabiting and gay couples whose lives don’t conform to Catholic teaching.
The guidelines could also up the ante for the coming election season, when Catholic candidates who support abortion rights or gay rights are sometimes challenged by conservatives over whether they should receive Communion.
Myers issued these guidelines even though he is scheduled to retire next July when he turns 75, turning over the reins to Archbishop Bernard Hebda.
In 2013, Francis named Hebda a “coadjutor archbishop” meaning he would automatically take over when Myers left office after a series of controversies that angered many priests and parishioners in the 1.4 million-member archdiocese.
In one instance, Myers was criticized for allowing a priest who was under court order to stay away from children to work with youths, and in another he was criticized for using Church funds to pay for pricey renovations to a retirement home.
A spokesman for Myers said in an e-mail on Tuesday that the archbishop saw this as an opportune moment to set out the guidelines for priests in the northern New Jersey archdiocese.
“With so much being generated in the media with regard to issues like same-sex unions and such, this memo about ensuring that Catholic teaching is adhered to in all situations especially with regard to the use of diocesan properties and facilities seemed appropriate,” James Goodness, a spokesman for Myers, said.
The memo is titled “Principles to Aid in Preserving and Protecting the Catholic Faith in the Midst of an Increasingly Secular Culture.” It is dated Sept. 22 and was sent to priests this week, according to a source who provided a copy to Religion News Service.
In the memo, Myers writes: “The Church will continue to cherish and welcome her members and invite them to participate in her life to the degree that their personal situation permits them honestly to do so.
“Catholics,” he continues, “must be in a marriage recognized as valid by the Church to receive Holy Communion or the other sacraments. Non-Catholics and any Catholic who publicly rejects Church teaching or discipline, either by public statements or by joining or supporting organizations which do so, are not to receive the Sacraments.”
I haven't been a big Myers fan, but bully for him! Now since he's invoking 916, will he invoke 915?
In the Catholic Church, the bishop is a critical player in all this because his name appears on the titles of all church property in his diocese. So if the Catholic Church sees a schism unfold, each bishop will effectively be the sole determinant of which side his diocese will be on.
You obviously haven't heard about the Diocese of Orange's latest action on that front, have you?
Support for organizations which publicly reject Church teachings should mean anyone who donates money to the Democratic Party should be excluded.
the left does this all the time. it demands their groups do not o anything tht appears’to support stuff it doesnt like.
i have no problem shoving this tactic back on the left.
True, but I think the intent is clear: those who are in irregular arrangements (shacking up, invalid civil unions [the Church's term for civil "marriage"], etc) should not approach Holy Communion.
Glad to see this.
I don’t really want to live in New Jersey...but this guy could change my mind!!
I don't follow on the logical or. Does he mean all the other sacraments ?
GOOD! Why the reticence to enforce Catholic teaching in Catholic diocese?
A canon lawyer of my acquaintance says that Myers usually thinks things through, but this new statement is very badly written, and that he will therefore not be commenting on it publicly.
Yes. It certainly implies that unmarried people are forbidden to receive Communion!
The Democrat platform has endorsed legal, government-funded abortion since 1972, yet no Catholic bishop has ever even hinted that it is sinful to be a registered Democrat.
ALL—that is, 100%—of the persecution of Catholics and other Christians in America is being carried out by the pro-abortion politicians that Catholic bishops have snuggled with, cuddled with, and generally supported over the last four decades.
“GOOD! Why the reticence to enforce Catholic teaching in Catholic diocese”
Right; Year of Mercy be D*mned! Show the People of God the REAL face of the Latin Church!
“The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked. His wrath towards you burns like fire; he looks upon you as worthy of nothing else but to be cast into the fire. He is of purer eyes than to bear you in his sight; you are ten thousand times as abominable in his eyes as the most hateful, venomous serpent is in ours.
You have offended him infinitely more than ever a stubborn rebel did his prince, and yet it is nothing but his hand that holds you from falling into the fire every moment. It is to be ascribed to nothing else that you did not got to hell the last night; that you were suffered to awake again in this world, after you closed your eyes to sleep. And there is no other reason to be given why you have not dropped into hell since you arose in the morning, but that God’s hand has held you up. There is no other reason to be given why you have not gone to hell since you have sat here in the house of God provoking his pure eye by your sinful, wicked manner of attending his solemn worship. Yea, there is nothing else that is to be given as a reason why you do not this very moment drop down into hell.”
Interesting piece of journalistic work.
"The new rules" simply means that on September 21 there was no memo and on 22nd here it is. Or does it mean to imply that there is something new to the rules themselves?
Whatever the Synod decides has not been decided yet. So, what "eyebrows"? If it so happens that the Synod liberalizes something, it would not be hard for the Archbishop to write another memo.
I think the Bishop is assuming a teeny-tiny smigeon of common sense here. The priests themselves, after all, are unmarried.
Ah, yes: The famous words of that well-known, celebrated Roman Catholic theologian Jonathan Edwards ...
The post to which I respond is actually slamming God for giving people exactly what they want hidden behind the pretense that it's a slam at the Latin Church. Interesting testimony.
“Ah, yes: The famous words of that well-known, celebrated Roman Catholic theologian Jonathan Edwards ...”
” Someone who doesn’t work out their Salvation with fear and trembling sufficient to keep them in line with Church teaching is someone who prefers to go their own way and God will let them.”
The “Do this or you will go to Hell” phronema of the Church in the West? Oh, happy Faith!
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