Couple A: a man and woman, married to each other in the Church. They go to Mass and receive Communion on Sundays and holy days. They were each raised Catholic, baptized and confirmed.
Couple B: two women, baptized and confirmed, and married to each other under the laws of secular society. They go to Mass and receive Communion on Sundays and holy days. They were each raised Catholic, baptized and confirmed. (Couple B could also be two men in a same-sex marriage.)
Under Canon Law, Couple B should not be receiving Communion because of their unconfessed and unrepentant sexual sins, and their heretical beliefs on sex and marriage.
But what if Couple A are using abortifacient contraception in their marriage? Which sins are worse, abortion and contraception, committed on a continuing basis by Couple A, or the unnatural sexual acts and erroneous beliefs of Couple B? Both couples are sinning gravely and should not receive Communion.
What if Couple A commit unnatural sexual acts in their heterosexual marriage? These are acts of grave depravity, very much like the acts of male or female same-sex couples. Couple A commits grave sexual sins, as well as abortion and contraception. Couple B commits grave sexual sins, but not the sins of abortion or contraception. And while Couple B have false beliefs on marriage and sexuality, Couple A may well have false beliefs on a variety of subjects. Many heterosexual Catholic couples believe that same-sex marriage is a valid type of marriage and that it should be legal. So Couple A may be sinning more than Couple B.
Yet Couple A are welcome to receive Communion, and Couple B are not. It is hypocritical to refuse Communion to persons committing one set of grave sins, and allow Communion to persons committing a different (or even very similar) set of grave sins. The Church should prohibit from Communion, not only same-sex couples, but anyone guilty of any grave sexual sins, in marriage or out of marriage, anyone using contraception or abortifacients, and anyone who does not believe what the Catholic faith requires.
As for those false teachers, who promote unnatural sexual acts in marriage and who justify the use of abortifacient contraception, they are guilty to a much greater extent. For they harm many persons by spreading grave errors far and wide. They should be excommunicated and publicly rebuked.
It is very troubling that teachers of heresy and other grave errors have much support and approval from the conservative Catholic subculture, from a group of persons who claim to be faithful to the Magisterium.
Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.
Please take a look at this list of my books and booklets, and see if any topic interests you.
Great post. But what if the same-sex couple refrain from sex, are not “married” because they are against same-sex marriage, and one of them are member of a ministry like Courage? Would they still be barred from the sacraments? ( exemple is not made-up by the way.)
If they have confessed their past sins, and have committed no new mortal sins since confession, they may receive Communion. Is it true what they say, “All are welcome”? Repentant sinners are welcome. Unrepentant sinners are not welcome.
LikeLiked by 1 person