‘Don’t re­ceive com­mu­nion un­less you re­pent for Yes’

Irish Independent - - Front Page - Ryan Nu­gent

CATHOLICS who voted Yes must go to con­fes­sion be­fore they can re­ceive com­mu­nion, ac­cord­ing to a bishop.

Waterford and Lis­more Bishop Alphon­sus Cul­li­nan said Yes vot­ers would “have to an­swer” for their de­ci­sion.

The com­ments are the lat­est in a se­ries by Church fig­ures to come out against ‘a-la-carte Catholi­cism’. The bishop said Ire­land had ac­cepted “eu­thana­sia” by al­low­ing abor­tion in the coun­try.

Last week, two out of three vot­ers backed re­peal­ing the Eighth amend­ment. The fig­ure was al­most 70pc in Bishop Cul­li­nan’s dio­cese of Co Waterford.

Bishop Cul­li­nan said peo­ple could not claim ig­no­rance over the is­sue. He said “no priest can know” if a per­son look­ing to re­ceive com­mu­nion has gone for con­fes­sion.

But he said: “They should ex­am­ine their con­science, they should talk to the priest, they should go to con­fes­sion.

“If some­body has some­thing that they are un­sure about… St Paul says very clearly in scrip­ture that to re­ceive holy com­mu­nion un­worthily is a very se­ri­ous mat­ter for which you will have to an­swer.”

The bishop was in­ter­viewed on WLRFM ra­dio yes­ter­day.

CATHOLICS who voted Yes must go to con­fes­sion be­fore they can re­ceive com­mu­nion, ac­cord­ing to a con­tro­ver­sial bishop.

Waterford and Lis­more Bishop Alphon­sus Cul­li­nan said Yes vot­ers would “have to an­swer” for their de­ci­sion.

The com­ments are the lat­est in a se­ries by Church fig­ures to come out against ‘a-la-carte Catholi­cism’. The bishop said Ire­land had ac­cepted “eu­thana­sia” by al­low­ing abor­tion in the coun­try.

Some 66.4pc of vot­ers were in favour of re­peal­ing the amend­ment – but the fig­ure was al­most 70pc in Bishop Cul­li­nan’s dio­cese of Co Waterford.

Speak­ing to WLRFM yes­ter­day, Bishop Cul­li­nan said peo­ple could not claim ig­no­rance over the is­sue and must tell priests they got it wrong.

He said “no priest can know” if a per­son look­ing to re­ceive com­mu­nion has gone for con­fes­sion. The bishop would not go into whether he would give com­mu­nion to some­one who had voted Yes and not re­pented.

But he said: “They should ex­am­ine their con­science, they should talk to the priest, they should go to con­fes­sion.

“If some­body has some­thing that they are un­sure about… St Paul says very clearly in scrip­ture that to re­ceive holy com­mu­nion un­worthily is a very se­ri­ous mat­ter for which you will have to an­swer.”

Bishop Cul­li­nan said if he knew a per­son had voted Yes and had not gone to con­fes­sion, it would be “some­thing that I would like to talk to that per­son [about]”.

Asked if he would refuse com­mu­nion to a Yes-vot­ing Catholic who he knew had not re­pented, he said: “On the spot that is a to­tally dif­fer­ent mat­ter, be­cause then you are politi­cis­ing the ac­tual Mass it­self, very awk­ward sit­u­a­tion that you don’t want to get into.”

The bishop said he agreed with Bishop Kevin Do­ran that Yes vot­ers should go to con­fes­sion fol­low­ing the ref­er­en­dum.

Speak­ing about the large per­cent­age of peo­ple who felt they were well-in­formed on the is­sue af­ter vot­ing, the bishop said: “Peo­ple can­not claim ig­no­rance. If they do, it’s cul­pa­ble ig­no­rance.

“If they do it’s very a se­ri­ous is­sue. If peo­ple have know­ingly and will­ingly voted Yes, well then they have to ex­am­ine their con­science and go be­fore the Lord and say ‘Lord, we got this wrong’. I do be­lieve that,” he said.

“Let’s face it, eu­thana­sia has now been ac­cepted, in the sense that we have ac­cepted, the ma­jor­ity of the Ir­ish peo­ple have ac­cepted, that some life is not worthy of life,” he added.

Bishop Cul­li­nan added that he was “hor­ri­fied” to see “jump­ing, roar­ing and cheer­ing” at Dublin Cas­tle fol­low­ing the re­sult.

Ear­lier this week, Bishop of El­phin Kevin Do­ran had also said Catholic Yes vot­ers should go to con­fes­sion.

He in­sisted Catholics who con­fessed to vot­ing Yes in the ref­er­en­dum would be treated with the same com­pas­sion as “any other pen­i­tent”.

“What hap­pens in the con­fes­sional of course is ab­so­lutely be­tween the priest and the pen­i­tent,” he said.

Bishop Cul­li­nan caused con­tro­versy last year when he claimed that the HPV vac­cine of­fers “no ab­so­lute guar­an­tee” of “full pro­tec­tion” against cer­vi­cal cancer and said that it could lead to promis­cu­ity.

How­ever, he later apol­o­gised for the com­ments, say­ing that he was not “fully in­formed” on the vac­ci­na­tion pro­gramme and he could see how HPV vac­cines can con­trib­ute greatly to low­er­ing the rate of cer­vi­cal cancer.

Mean­while, a lead­ing Catholic the­olo­gian has said that the moral author­ity of the Church is in tat­ters.

Fr Gerry O’Han­lon, for­mer Pro­vin­cial of the Je­suit Or­der, said there was now a huge gulf be­tween priests and the peo­ple.

“There is an op­por­tu­nity to do some­thing about it, but not if we put our heads in the sand like an os­trich.”

The the­olo­gian criticised Bishop Do­ran for im­me­di­ately com­ing out and urg­ing Yes vot­ers to go to con­fes­sion.

The Je­suit priest said: “It doesn’t re­spect the con­science of peo­ple, and it adds to the no­tion of the Church as anti-wo­man.”

“It fires up anger in re­ac­tion,” he added.

‘If peo­ple have know­ingly and will­ingly voted Yes, then they have to ex­am­ine their con­science and go be­fore the Lord and say, ‘Lord, we got this wrong’. I do be­lieve that’

– Waterford and Lis­more Bishop Alphon­sus Cul­li­nan

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.