harriet sherwood The Guardian

Sat 12 Jun 2021

At some point this weekend, Joe Biden will take his place in a line of people approaching the altar of a Catholic church to receive communion.

The US president, a devout Catholic whose speeches regularly include biblical references and who carries a rosary that belonged to his late son, attends Mass every weekend – in Washington, his home town of Wilmington in Delaware, or wherever he happens to be traveling. If the traditional Sunday morning Eucharist service is not possible because of his schedule, he will receive the sacrament on Saturday evening as permitted by the Roman Catholic church.

“It’s really an encounter with God,” Father Kevin Gillespie of Holy Trinity in Washington, the church Biden usually attends in the capital, told the Atlantic earlier this year. For Biden, this “sacred and intimate moment” is a “gift that enhances his faith”, and “we most certainly encourage him to improve his intimacy with God through the Eucharist”.

But not everybody in the Catholic church in America is quite so keen on Biden receiving communion. Next week, a national online meeting of US bishops will discuss whether the president and other high-profile political figures should be denied the sacraments because of his stance on abortion rights.

“How can he say he’s a devout Catholic and he’s doing these things that are contrary to the church’s teaching?” archbishop Joseph Naumann, chair of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) committee on pro-life activities, asked last month. Biden’s position was a “grave moral evil” which presents a “unique problem” for the church, Naumann said.

Cardinal Raymond Burke, a leading conservative and critic of Pope Francis, has gone further, saying that politicians who “publicly and obstinately” support abortion are “apostates” who should not only be barred from receiving communion but deserve excommunication.

At their meeting, the bishops will consider a document aimed at clarifying the church’s position on the Eucharist, and decide whether to commission further work on the circumstances in which the sacraments may be denied. The proposal needs the support of at least two-thirds of the 280 bishops in the USCCB – and more than 60 have already requested a suspension of all discussion, citing divisions within the conference.

Among opponents of the move is Robert McElroy, the bishop of San Diego, who wrote in America Magazine, the Jesuit journal, that “the Eucharist is being weaponised and deployed as a tool in political warfare. This must not happen.”

A letter from a senior Vatican official last month urged US bishops not to rush any debate and decision, and there has been speculation that the first meeting between President Biden and Pope Francis could take place at the Vatican the day before the USCCB’s virtual session opens. That would be seen as a strong signal from Rome.

Whatever the outcome of the USCCB’s deliberations, the decision on whether an individual parishioner should be denied communion lies with the local bishop. Wilton Gregory of Washington and Francis Malooly of Wilmington, Delaware, have both made it clear that Biden is welcome to receive communion at churches in their dioceses.

Father Gillespie’s public defence of Biden attending Mass has drawn angry phone calls, letters and emails. He told the Guardian it seemed best to refrain from speaking further on the matter, but said the president “has and will be welcomed to receive the Holy Eucharist” at his church.

Biden, the second Catholic to occupy the White House after John F Kennedy, has said his faith shapes “all that I do” and will “serve as my anchor” through his term in office. In his book, Promises to Keep: On Life and Politics, he wrote: “My idea of self, of family, of community, of the wider world comes straight from my religion.”

On abortion, Biden has said he personally believes life begins at conception but recognises others do not share his view. “What I’m not prepared to do is impose a precise view that is borne out of my faith on other people,” he said in 2015.

In recent months, the Biden administration has lifted restrictions on federal funding for research involving human foetal tissue, rescinded a Trump policy barring organisations that refer women for abortions from receiving federal grants, and allowed women to remotely obtain a prescription for an abortion pill during the pandemic.

The Catholic church says that Catholics in public life should uphold principles consistent with its doctrine. But in a survey carried out by the Pew Research Center in March, more than two-thirds of US Catholics said Biden’s views on abortion should not disqualify him from receiving communion.

According to exit polls taken during last November’s presidential election, just over half of US Catholics (51%) voted for Biden, compared with 45% who voted Democrat in 2016; and 47% voted for Trump, compared with 52% in the previous election.

Andrew Chesnut, professor of religious studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, said the USCCB’s proposal “serves to further polarise an already sharply divided episcopy, some of whom have been outspoken opponents of Pope Francis’s relatively progressive papacy.

“The proposal to exclude Biden and all election officials who support legal abortion from communion is an effort on the part of conservative bishops to shore up their base of regular Mass-goers who are the life blood of the church. But exclusionary ecclesial policies will only lead to greater defection from the pews, especially among Millennials and Generation Z.”

Michael Budde, professor of Catholic studies and political science at DePaul University in Chicago, said barring Biden from communion “will be rightly seen as a move of desperation, an attempt to coerce what has not been won by persuasion or dialogue”.

He added: “There is no consensus among the Catholic faithful on this measure; significantly, there is no real support for it at the level of the worldwide Catholic communion as voiced by Pope Francis. That there are finally some important US cardinals and bishops who are tired of this can’t-win strategy may be an indication that someday a better vision might finally emerge.”

A scathing editorial in the National Catholic Reporter earlier this month said the “tragic reality” of proceeding with the proposal was that “it will seal the deal on the branding of Catholicism in the United States as a culture war project.

“This culture war … is not the church of mercy and encounter that Pope Francis is trying to offer the world. Nor does it resemble what the carpenter’s son from Galilee preached and died for.”


In the end of the day only God Himself is in a position to judge the soul of anyone.

The RCC is entitled to teach its teachings and express its views on all matters.

In doing do it is expressing an OBJECTIVE MORALITY.

But whether a person is in sin or not is a matter of SUBJECTIVE MORALITY.

The RCC teaches that any woman who has an abortion is AUTOMATICALLY EXCOMMUNICATED.

It also teaches that anyone who helps duch a woman procure an abortion is also AUTOMATICALLY EXCOMMUNICATED.

So, there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions of Catholics, already automatically excommunicated and not allowed to receive Holy Communion, and don’t even know it !

I dont believe in excommunication.

The Church is primarily the Family of God and God is not in the business of throwing His sons and daughters out of fhe family.

I am 45 years a priest.

I have NEVER refused anyone Holy Communion.

I have NEVER refused anyone absolution

As an old expression says:

“A priest should be a lion in the pulpit and a lamb in the confessional”.

I would give Joe Biden Holy Communion.


He should make a point of going up if refused it.
John Paul II said that a society will be judged by how it treats its most vulnerable. He was referring to in the womb and dying, but conveniently ignored that many priests were fucking children, not prevented if not actually helped by the church of which he was head. If that psycho wasn’t refused a canonisation the church should pay attention to all the good Biden does and give him communion.
Actually he’d be better jumping ship and becoming a United Methodist.


10.57: Joe Biden is a man of principle and conviction. Why would he cross over to another ship? Like millions, he sees the great works of various faith based charities, outreach support for the poor and disenfranchised and forgotten of the many cities in the USA…and he knows that hundreds of faith and church based charities are at the coal face of such poverty, pain and suffering, including hundreds of Catholic charities. Don’t distort truth.


You make the incredible fallacy of equating principle with religion, specifically a religion, which also happens to be yours, and is Roman Catholicism. You therefore place the RC church above principle.
But then you don’t have any principles, do you?


‘Interfering with’ would have sufficed, there, @ 10:57 pm, and we get your point. Your indignation is very much righteous in my opinion in, so far as.
Communion is Communion, whether it be Catholic, Protestant, Methodist / United Methodist or Scottish Presbyterian.
So, if Biden were to “jump ships” that would be just fine; better than fine, in my humble opinion. Saying this, he’s not letting Rome dictate his political prowess: people’s Human Rights, namely the abortion instruction. This is good, no need to “jump ships” here. Hopefully he will act in accordance with his conscience, and not sell his soul like some politicians. A self serving politician… we all know one of those!


9.53: Lots of fallacies in your piece. I never said any such thing as you ascribe to me and if you deduce your conclusion from what I expressed, you are disrorting my argument completely. Certainly for me, Christ is the highest “principle/ideal” I can emulate and try to do so along with thousands of others who allow their faith and religious beliefs guide their principles, integrity and living. If you find your life’s principles elsewhere, good. The important thing is that we each try to live to the highest ideals of humanity. Faith and religious beliefs inspire millions to do this.


For you.
What makes you think anyone else is bothered about what you think or believe and least of all thinks your views should affect their PRINCIPLES at all!


In his capacity as an elected official he must do things at times that conflict with his personal beliefs. Many people do things in work that they don’t necessarily want to do. Should President Biden receive communion then becomes a distinct question from, should Joe Biden receive communion.
Setting aside the murky rabbit holes (such as rape) I am no fan of abortion. But you must admit that there are other good things that President Biden can achieve that help the RCC agenda. So ultimately there is a need for balance, not extremism.
I recall a peer in seminary refusing to receive Communion one morning at mass. We all then knew three things. 1. He was scrupulous. 2. (by inference) he had masturbated the night before, 3. He would shortly after be kicked out – not for masturbating, but because he was so scrupulous that he would refuse communion. For him it was an expensive ejaculation.


1.17: And what makes you think anyone bothers about your PRINCIPLES or “beliefs”? Perhaps your world view is insignificant and non existent. Are you a “go with the flow”, empty vessel type? Anything goes?? Empty.


It is futile to deny Joe Biden communion; futile, and even heretical. Because to deny him this is an implicit denial of the scriptural fact that the human heart is God’s very own and natural tabernacle.


And makes a bunch of freaky notional he-virgins the guardians of divinity. What a ridiculous and frightening thought.


Magna: your second sentence yesterday @ 1:37 seems a significant point in the blog’s regular Punch & Judy spats between you and your detractors. “I am not REQUIRED (my emphasis) to respect nonsense regardless of its source”.
Voltaire’s dictum “I disapprove of what you say, but defend your right to say it” may seem commendable. But surely it is questionable for the articulation of faith beliefs from positions of public prominence demanding conformity to them regardless of their impingement on others beliefs or rights?
By any impartial objective analysis in relation to many religious claims, what is claimed is utterly ridiculous and preposterous. The current Holy Communion blog concerning the alleged “real presence” transubstantiation doctrine is a case in point. Moreover many religious claimants put forward beliefs as undeniable facts not simply worthy of respect but of unreserved acceptance with expectation of others acquiescent conformity of behaviour to show respect for their beliefs. But that’s all they are: beliefs unsupported by any objective evidence.
The more I learn about the harm done by religion’s zealous adherents, the less respect I have for its well meaning but misguided proponents who expect deference to themselves and conformity to their peculiar faith beliefs.
So I well understand your lack of respect for much of the farrago of religious beliefs, especially the RCC: Perhaps I just express it less vehemently. 😉


You make an unquestionably good point, MMM (indeed an inarguable one), that the imposition of religious beliefs, by statute, on those who oppose them (on those who would consider them nonsense) is questionable. But is that really the case here with regard to abortion?
Legislating against abortion is not imposing a belief on anyone, but it would impose a legal penalty on those who breach the legislation. To put it practically, you are free to disagree that abortion is morally wrong, but you are not free, under the Law, to procure an abortion without incurring a punishment.
Law, according to Hilary Clinton, can have a teaching effect on people. It undoubtedly can, but not necessarily in terms of accepting someone else’s dogmas, but in terms of compliance WITH the law (under threat of punishment) rather than conformity TO any principle, moral or otherwise, that precipitates and informs the law.


11.33pm: A very laudable thought from Magna: The human heart is the sanctuary or tabernacle of God’s life and presence and is even a more sacred, holy sanctuary when we receice The Eucharist – the very life of God in and through Christ. That is why I believe the “real” Eucharist begins when the celebrant says – go in peace to love and serve the Lord!! What a challenge – to become what we receive – The Body of Christ for one another…Amazing!


6.26: Who could be sore about a hater and a liar. It’s prayers you need, sir, to be delivered from your cesspit of caca.


“A priest should be a lion in the pulpit and a lamb in the confessional”. – That’s how I think.
I believe a priest / minister should be like a wild tiger when it comes to protecting the cubs—the child like. Likewise; a priest / minister as gentle as a lamb to those who have no intentions of malice or harm to the innocent, gentle and loving of heart:
to the broken, hurt and cast away — the same gentleness is simply a must. Nothing else will do, quite simply.
It’s good you’ve never refused Holy Communion / Lord’s Supper — neither have I. It’s not ours to deny.
“O let all who thirst:
Let them come to the water.
And let all who have nothing:
Let them come to the Lord.”
God bless you, Bishop Pat x


7:16 am— I’ve just Googled ‘Poove’, always thought it was ‘poof! You learn something new every day Lol 🤣 x


The evidence is very clear that the only thing achieved by making abortion illegal is an increase in deaths caused by back street abortions. Legal, safe abortions save lives and your fantasy that anything else will happen is just that.


Bp Pat, what you say in Pat Says is right as far as it goes. But the RC establishment shot the whole world in the foot when JP II enforced compulsory “communion”. This will take more than a USCCB resolution to sort out.
You have the advantage of dispensing non-Roman sacraments. In Rome, there is no longer “communion” as my friend’s friend found out. Rome has devalued its sacraments to nothing, even as you have respected and preserved some common value in your lookalikes. Those of Biden’s policies that are less good are the fruit especially of diseased Church.
Whilst we don’t know what Biden’s taking part in this way means either to him or to God, I don’t think it should impress the public. Phrases like “don’t go down into the house”, “lay down your sacrifice on the threshold” and “return by another way” are meant to be about our discernment of the whole, more than of our solitary totting up of some “sins”.
When St Paul says he is the chief of sinners, he wasn’t vaunting his manipulativeness like some people I had the misfortune to run into. This is what “discern the body” means, and “don’t mutually quench / grieve / blaspheme Holy Spirit”.
Every point of what God thinks isn’t our business: He specifically told us we have got to get integrity into our own thinking, no matter if that means breaking with the Vatican City (which incidentally doesn’t feature in our Easter promises nor the Creed). The CCC and much other company literature not only do not represent the whole opinion of God, they aren’t a fair attempt at our own part either.
I got fed up of being told confession was about readmitting myself to the smarties queue, which revolves around the power of the one with the vocation, to obliterate the substance of the smarties (while my Jesus would respect that even as He adds His own alongside). If confession was any good in Rome, we would do it without going to “communion”.
The US hierarchy is in no position to express an opinion without breaking from Rome in force of sacrament and not just opinion. And meantime, their sacraments mean that much less anyway.


It is vital and important that the Church makes known its moral teachings on a wide range of issues. Like any organisation or political party, having norms of discipline, ethical and social guidelines and protocols and requirements for being a nember, so too the church has its moral teachings and guidelines for those who subscribe in being a member. But we know that many, many members do not adhere to much of the moral teachings of the church. What are we to do? Certainly not make a public humiliation of any high profile individual if he/she happens to present for communion. After all we do pray “..Lord, I am not worthy..” before reception of Holy Communion…I have never refused any person Holy Communion. How can I know who should or shouldn’t be allowed to participate fully in the Eucharist? What about the reality of my own sinfulness, infidelity and flaws as a priest? Many people come before us with broken, wounded spirits. Many are decent, good human beings. As Pope Francis said – “Who am I to judge..?” Surely gospel compassion and mercy must be the guiding principles in all situations. Yet, when we are faced with scenarios of people chewing gum, half drunk or totally disrespectful and who chat relentlesdly at times – at funerals particularly – it is challenging as to make the right decision. But generally, I would not humiliate any person by publicly refusing them Holy Communion: I would need a very persuasive argument and reason to do so. The integrity and holiness of the Eucharist must be protected at all times but refusing communion is a challenging decision to make.



You speak of the ‘Church’ and it’s moral protocols, etc when really you should be speaking of the episcopate.

The episcopate (the bishops) is not the Church. And the sometimes the episcopate gets it very wrong indeed, misleading generations of Catholics in the process. Well, those too docile to think for themselves.




Seamus, have you an identical twin brother, with an identical name, but the pair of you commenting here under two different avatars? We think we should know. Or are you one and the same person, but just more than a little bewildered?

While you’re figuring out that one, perhaps you could explain why your comment at 1.42 is a complete non- sequitur to my post at 1.10?

Others may have given up on getting any sense out of you, but I haven’t. 😔


It isn’t a ‘commandment’; it’s the opinion of that man-about-the-Roman-Empire, Ignatius of Antioch. He scribbled this catch phrase, among other stuff, while on his way to Rome, probably in eager anticipation of his own martyrdom there (judging by all that hastened, and hasty, scribbling).
He knew his days were numbered, did Ignatius. And he wanted to make his mark before the Romans left on him their permanent mark.
Cynics might say Ignatius sought out martyrdom just to join a growing hagiography of early Christian martyrs. Ignatius wanted to be right up there with the best known of ’em. Er, cynics might say this, but I shouldn’t, of course.
Isn’t it amazing the bullshit inspired by the looming spectre of death?
Now I should say THAT. 😀


I refer you to my comment about the commandment. That is why the bishops are so exalted and should be honoured.


10:56 and 1:42 have nothing to do with me. Be aware of imposters as the Bible says. My posts have a picture next to my name and my name is underlined. I will email Bishop Pat if proof is helpful to alleviate any confusion?


The troll is trolled. Give the imitation credit, though, you can’t tell theirs from the real Seamus’s comments. I expect this awareness will not be welcome to Seamus.


The Vatican is worried more about the division within the ranks of the US bishops, and does not want there to be any glaring division on any issue, including this matter of communion and abortion ‘supporting’ legislators. To that end they have tried to slap down the culture wars warriors like Gomez and Cordileone (the latter one being the one who was arrested for DUI after taking a young seminarian to dinner, with Cordileone’s elderly mother in the car as a chaperone !). The most important thing for the Vatican in this issue is unity amongst the bishops, and since there is clearly not, it is not going to go allow this matter to go forward. It is interesting that of all the moral and life issues that exist in the world, including issues about the death penalty, support for nuclear weapons, economic warfare and oppression of the poor, none of the legislators who find themselves in opposition to Catholic teaching on these matters are threatened with being banned from holy communion. Equally, priests who support hard line traditionalist teaching that imposes burdens upon the faithful are rarely called to task and disciplined by bishops. This argument is a very selective one, and is the tip of the iceberg of the deep divisions that exist in the Church in the USA. I’ve been there and I’ve worked there and never more did I feel that I was living and working in a kind of police surveillance state where parishioners and priest were constantly willing to report you if your style, words, ecclesiology, theology, pastoral practice was not rigid and inflexible enough. Horrible experience.Generalisation, I know, but Americans do tend to be very literal and a bit thick on nuance on such matters. Thank God we are part of a European sane and sensible culture that finds cooperative behaviour a better way of being.


The Church is preaching the unpopular Commandment of thou shalt not kill. People will walk from darkness into light and yet will vote in favour of abortion.
Abortion is seen as a body choice when procreating intimacy is the body choice.
Should Joe Biden be denied at Holy Communion? Judas Iscariot was not denied at the Last Supper.We live in a democracy.
Pro-Life people are like the Apostles who were beaten and dejected in the immediate aftermath of the Crucifixion. Pro-Life people are a minority group in our current day democracy.
Pro-Life people have different faiths and none. Those of us who are followers of Christ can only humbly use the Bible and 10 Commandments as our compass. It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle in the wall of Jerusalem than it is for a wayward abortionist.
The Church needs to remove the beams in it’s eyes before it can preach with strong authority to the abortionists. Abortionists need to remove the beams in their eyes before they are critical of the Church for it’s failings.
May everyone take responsibility instead of passing the blame.


More unexceptional nonsense from Seamus, but the day is young.
Are you serious? Or are you just trolling again, in your typically unremarkable way? ‘The Church is teaching the unpopular commandment of thou shalt not kill’? Hmm 🤔 Well, I suppose this might count as exceptional nonsense, since the Church has never taught any such thing.
By God, Seamus! You’re a bold one today. Whatever gave you the ridiculous notion that the Church would be so true to the Commandment?
Back to elementary class for you, me bucko.


Hi Magna 11:27,
Pro-Life people should not be protesting outside of abortion clinics. Good and decent Pro-Life people are unhappy about that behaviour. We need to help and educate abortionists that procreating intimacy is a body choice through a conversation about what is right.


Joe Biden is a deeply religious man , unlike his predecessor who used the bible as a prop and probably never opened one in his life, just to appease his deeply loyal southern religious nut-jobs that voted him in, attacked the capital, and would continue to vote for him.
It’s a breath to see an articulate man in the White House again. The RCC have connections to Republicans and shamed on it for that.


Pat,have you heard of the Cathars?
What did they know that meant they had to be eliminated by the Roman church?
Was the crucifixion a staged hoax?
Was Jesus married with children?
Did the Cathars acceptance of homosexuality as completely normal make them the target of Rome or was is their understandable idea that talk of human sacrifice and body and blood was borrowed from the ancient Mayas?
“Eat his body, drink his blood…..”
An abomination in anyone’s language.
Its amazing how a little education can make the scales from the eyes.
Such a pity that some of the well intentioned priests don’t use that thing between their ears, rather than between their legs. Wouldn’t the world be such a better place.


To the Cathars, reproduction was a moral evil to be avoided, as it continued the chain of reincarnation and suffering in the material world.
Of baptism, they asserted that the water is material and corruptible and is therefore the creation of the evil power, and cannot sanctify the spirit.
They firmly rejected the Resurrection of Jesus, seeing it as representing reincarnation, and the Christian symbol of the cross, considering it to be not more than a material instrument of torture and evil. They also saw John the Baptist, identified also with Elijah, as an evil being sent to hinder Jesus’s teaching through the false sacrament of baptism.
In response:
There is widespread disagreement among scholars on the details of the life of Jesus mentioned in the gospel narratives, and on the meaning of his teachings. Scholars differ on the historicity of specific episodes described in the biblical accounts of Jesus, but almost all modern scholars consider his baptism and crucifixion to be historical facts.
(My thanks to Wiki for putting into words what I wanted to say of the Cathars’ and what is generally accepted of Jesus’ time on Earth. 🌎)


Thank you 9:06. It would probably be quicker to say what isn’t represented in Glastonbury.


Pat Buckley says “I dont believe in excommunication …. I would give Joe Biden Holy Communion”.

Of course you would give Biden communion. Sure didn’t you once give a rabbit communion on the Saltee islands?

Whether you believe in excommunication or not means nothing. You reject everything that does not chime with your particular worldview.

The fact remains Jesus Christ told the Church that if there are some who refuse to be reasoned with, they are to be treated as if they are pagans – in other words excommunicated. You can read about it in Matthew 18, 15 to 18.

Biden is stridently and unapologetically pro abortion. His “I’m just a devoutly Catholic old grandpappy” charade is nauseating hypocrisy and deceit.

It is no surprise that the spineless hirelings in the American hierarchy haven’t the cojones to tell him and his ilk what the church actually teaches and has always taught.

I mean who could expect His Eminence “Nighty-Night-Baby-I-Love-You” Cardinal Tobin, or any of the other McCarrick protégés like Cupich and Gregory et al, to actually behave as if they believe in something?

Power looks after power. They are all a disgrace. Hell won’t be full until they are all in it.


In Celtic MYTHOLOGY you mean. “Celtic spirituality” is an invention by misguided individuals who really want to be druids and keep a “Christian” veneer.

Starry-eyed claptrap promoted, for example, by a certain type of elderly nun, who likes to roll naked in the mossy glens, after reading John O’Donoghue 😬😖😂


At 6.37, Jesus was buck naked, too, on more than one occasion, and semi-naked when he gatecrashed that frightened little huddle of disciples and asked them to poke the hole in his lacerated side post-Resurrection.

Have you a hang-up about the naked human body?


All God’s creatures great and small. There was no word of Sooty the cat being offered during it’s lifetime. The feline creature was only appreciated when it was gone.



Matthew 18: 15 – 18, being the only such stricture in the New Testament, is likely a licence and contrivance by the author of that gospel, himself a hellinised Jew.

‘Let him be to you as a Gentile, and a tax collector’ is, on balance of scriptural probability, a remark Jesus would never have made in a month of… well… sabbaths, to be idiomatically Jewish about it.

Jesus didn’t shun the marginalised, the ‘lost sheep’ as it were: he went after ’em… with a passion! 😀


Forget the Holy Spirit inspiring the Scriptures – the Gospel according to “Magna Carta”.
“MC” is of course much wiser than the Holy Spirit. It knows what God meant to be in the Gospels and what is “licence and contrivance”. 🙄



It’s more accurate, and credible, to say that the Holy Spirit may at least have attempted to inspire the authors of Scripture, especially the Old Testament. I mean all that incest, mysogyny, genocidal murder, stoning of people for the slightest transgression of barbarous laws… Is this really the product of a loving divine mind, or a supremely deranged and psychopathic one?

I ask you. 🙃


4.52: Pat, while animals should not be treated cruelly in any way, you stretch your theology a little too far. You cannot commit sacrilege with the sacredness of Holy Communion under any circumstances by suggesting that it’s ok to “spiritualise” animals. Your theology is not CATHOLIC – it’s a variant of Catholicism but consists of suitably chosen truths that suit a very un-catholic, free style teaching.


That was the first and only time I gave an animal communion. I was on a lone day retreat on the Saltee islands. I was the only human being there.

I celebrated Mass on the grass. The hare arrived as I began Mass and sat through the whole Mass watching me intently.

I knew he was worthy of Communion because he was in the state of grace.

I don’t believe Jesus would have objected

I believe the hare was a messenger from God that day.

At JP 11 Youth Mass in Galway a dog ate a consecrated host that blew out of a coborium

He was probably the most worthy that day.



Sacrilege with holy communion by giving it to animals? Why? Because they are irrational creatures incapable of knowing or understanding God?

Funny, but I recall similar argument being made about denying holy communion to learning-disabled folk, my neice one of them.

Sure aren’t they the purest critturs of all, spotless through and through? And wouldn’t Jesus have found such a reception there? No hostility towards him? No rejection of his sacred presence?

The son of man has at last found somewhere to lay his head.


“Magna Carta” doesn’t have a learning-disabled niece. “Magna Carta” is a construction of a feverishly angry and bitter imagination. Those who engage with “Magna Carta” are even worse eejits. You might as well debate with Mr Pumblechook for they are both literary constructs – one of a genius (Dickens) and the other …… well


That’s a very beautiful story, Pat, about the hare and Holy Communion, which I think resonates in the lives of many of the saints. I’m glad too Magna approves. God bless.


Imagine bishops telling us how to run family life which they have no idea of how to run it themselves. Guess who said that remark – Mary mc Aleese.
Bishops aren’t the church. It’s the people. It’s the people who contributed money, donations to rcc coffers. When people stop donating, rcc shrinks even though they have millions in the bank.
Its the women who contributed the most re money to rcc but in return, they get misogynistic attitude from the rcc. They should wake up to that fact.
Excommunication is meaningless cis I don’t agree with rcc or frankie the gaslighter views. Once you disagree then you are excommunicated. Its like asking for my baptism to be revoked. Baptism shouldnt be enforced until age of reason say 7 or 8 when a child knows right or wrong. You see in the bible, people got baptised in late 20s outwards by John the Baptist. Why early age which doesn’t make sense? I belive baptism protects us from evil. That’s first point I make but except for enforced baptism raised up by mc aleese which I thought she has a point there despite not a fan of her.


“Why early age which doesn’t make sense?”
You’ve asked a fair question DG. The first objection often is that babies cannot personally make the commitment necessary for Baptism. But, since the time of Abraham right to the present, Jews have circumcised infants and brought them into the Covenant on the eighth day after birth, based on the faith of the parents, just as we do now in Christian Baptism.
Could you imagine the Apostles standing before the Jewish crowds, announcing the New Covenant, but adding that their children were excluded, until they could make the decision for themselves? It would be unheard of.


8.35: McAleese is a lost cause. She’s insulting everyone with a deeper faith than she has, people who not only profess their faith but live it actively in their parishes. We have 65 baptisms to catch up with since long before Christmas and all parents asked and desired the sacrament of baptism. All of them, even for their 4/5/6/ year old children and a 9 year old. McAleese would wish we’d say no. We respond because parents ask. It is a moment to congratulate parents and families, bless them, welcome the gift of life and entrust them to God’s blessings. It is also a moment to proclaim the preciousness and dignity of these little ones in the eyes of God. Very admirable reasons for celebrating baptism. No ones freedom is being trampled on. McAleese – go and fight and advocate for the poor and disenfranchised instead of fighting petty liberal agendas.


Mary McAleese raised an issue. (I happen to strenuously disagree with her.)
The appropriate response is not to shoot her, figuratively, but to come up with rational, persuasive reasons why children may be baptised as infants. The first one is that baptism is the means of entry into the family of God. Infants are as welcome as anyone else into that family.


Anon 10:34, you are right. Mary McAleese is in absolutely no position to be preaching to the Church. Fair play to her for helping the LGBT+ community. I give her full credit for that. The success of that has gone to her head.


If communion is withheld from Catholics in Biden’s position it will ensure no Catholics can go into politics. Either you start a one issue party which would ban abortion (and would never get into power) or you stand as an independent and never get in.
Has this actually been thought through?


The Filipino priest who had an affair with a man’s wife. Is he being denied Holy Communion?
People have many faiths and none. In a democracy, democratic decisions are made. The Church can call on Biden to advocate a Pro-Life policy. They cannot however call on him to implement undemocratic decisions.


I think you raise an interesting question, but I doubt that many will have the stamina to go into all the details. That area around Sevenoaks and Tunbridge Wells does seem to be a centre of Ordinariate activities, who have brought over with them al the worst characteristics of Anglican divisiveness. At least the priest, Fr Ivan, has got out and joined the Archdiocese. Incidentally, isn’t our Blog favourite, Fr Littleton, bound for Sevenoaks?


I think the characterisation of Littleton as looking like the Child of Prague was spot on. That pic of him dressing up in biretta and fiddleback is ridiculous looking. He knows he’s taking the piss. And so, I think we are perfectly entitled to take the piss out of him.


The usual suspects amongst the American hierarchy are playing power games as usual, whilst raving over their increasing impotence – probably in more ways than one. May I draw attention to this link in the Catholic Herald, which has been taken over by American supporters of Mother and that queen in San Francisco:

NB the last paragraph which, without any sense of irony, accuses gay activists of imposing a view of human sexuality on those who may not share it! Let’s think about that, shall we?


Give the Ordinate to Bishop Pat alongside the Latin Mass Brigade and let us get on with building the Kingdom entrusted to US.
Voting Two or Get Out.


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