I wanted to pose a question to you regarding a statement one of my patients made the other day. We were talking about receiving communion and he said that he would not receive communion from a priest who was actively living a homosexual life. I was stunned, having never heard anything like that before, and appalled, really. I wanted to clarify a few things with him to see if I understood what he was saying. My first question to him was-did he think that the Eucharist was somehow tainted or not even consecrated because of the priest’s ‘sinfulness’? St. Anthony Messenger just did a little blurb about this last month saying that it is God’s grace and the belief of the people gathered that makes the Eucharist holy, not the priest’s sin or righteousness. My patient said no, but I had my doubts. I asked him if it was only homosexuality or if there were other things that would make him steer clear. Afterall, I had just given him communion earlier that day. He said it boiled down to mortal sin for him.
Well, I didnt really know what to do with this! I wondered how he would know if someone was in a state of grace or a state of sin. He said he would know if it were out in the open, known in the community. So, my question was, how do you know he didnt seek forgiveness that exact morning before mass? (I wanted him to see how he was judging; I don’t think I was successful). I wondered what he thought the person giving communion to him had to do with the communion. Or did it even have anything to do with it? What statement was he trying to make, and is reception of the Eucharist the right time to make a statement other than the statement of faith?
I don’t know if I will ever understand the depth of meaning behind this for him-is he exercising self hatred because he is secretly gay himself? Is he simply self righteous? Why does it bug me so much? You know, all of those questions! Anyone have thoughts?? Do you think about the person you are receiving communion from when you receive communion?