Bishop Egan and Catholic Teaching
It's been a few days since I first heard of Bishop Egan's explanation about why MP's, who voted for the same-sex marriage bill, shouldn't receive communion. I have to say from the outset that I fully agree with his comments which also fully adhere to the teaching of the Catholic Church. I thought there was no more to be said on the subject but then heard that the Bishops Conference had publicly stated that this is not the case and that nobody will be introducing a ban. Many people I am sure will be in a state of mortal sin when receiving communion but for an MP to actively and publicly be in opposition to the Church's teaching demands action from the Bishop's Conference and indeed, their local parish priest under guidance from their Bishop. To allow the MP's to continue receiving communion in a state of mortal sin could really be a grave sin itself and so a great responsibility lies on the Bishops conference of England and Wales which I feel they have now shirked.
Bishop Egan initially said; “When people are not in communion with the Catholic Church … in terms of the teachings of the Church on marriage and family life – they are voting in favour of same-sex marriage – then they shouldn’t be receiving Holy Communion.” The comments were further clarified as being an act of charity when Bishop Egan stated; “We’re called by Christ and He’s chosen us, it’s a free choice. We live under the word of God. It’s not my truth, it’s God’s truth. One would hope that in that case it would encourage someone to come back to seek communion with the Lord with the truth and say I’m sorry I got lost.”
Church teaching is clear and it certainly seems clear that Bishop Egan knows this but does the Bishops Conference? I would encourage everyone that has my concern to write to the President of the Bishops conference to voice their concern.
In God's Love
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales