Bishops Debate Access to Sacraments for Domestic Abusers

By The Pope’s Fool News Service
October 15, 2014

The Popes Fool News Service (We Make Stuff Up)VATICAN CITY (TPF) — The Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, called by Pope Francis to discuss topics related to the family and evangelization, has articulated the case both in favor of, and opposed to, lifting the prohibition against taking Communion for people who have been divorced and remarried without first obtaining an annulment. Moving on, the bishops then took up the question of access to the sacraments for those who perpetrate domestic abuse. Some bishops were in favor of extending the ban on access to the sacraments for those who abuse, while others were opposed.

Cardinal Pizzicato, head of the Pontifical Council for Congregations, articulated the position of those advocating for the status quo, where domestic abusers are allowed full access to the sacraments. “I mean it’s pretty easy to pick out the divorced who have remarried without an annulment. But how the heck do you know the abusers? Oh, I expect some of them talk to their parish priests about it,” he continued. “But if they stay married, and if they are open to life and actively involved in the parish, I don’t see how it would work.”

Those hoping to extend the ban to domestic abusers point to the Church’s historic, solemn, and settled teaching on the holiness of the powerless, especially children, the gravely immoral sin of harming the little ones, and the need to be in a state of grace to receive Holy Communion.

“You can’t get any more more clear than Matthew,” said Cardinal Corke, head of the Congregation for Pontifical Councils. “We’re talking millstones. Here’s what the Gospel says,” he continued, quoting Matthew 18. “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”

“That’s pretty unequivocal,” said the Cardinal. “Jesus chased away the scribes and Pharisees who wanted to stone the woman taken in adultery. But for those who abuse children, it’s the millstone to the bottom of the sea. Doing anything but extending the ban to domestic abusers, especially when children are present in the family, would be shameful and completely wrong.”