Coherent Eucharistic Discipline: An Unfathomable Mercy, by Dr. Jeff Mirus

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By Dr. Jeff Mirus, Catholic Culture, Nov 03, 2021

 Jeffrey Mirus holds a Ph.D. in intellectual history from Princeton University. A co-founder of Christendom College, he also pioneered Catholic Internet services. He is the founder of Trinity Communications and See full bio.


As the American bishops struggle through what ought to be a relatively simple discussion of “Eucharistic coherence”, some key principles of Eucharistic doctrine and discipline may once again remain unstated. The initial draft of the bishops’ document on this subject does not offer great hope. (See the draft text made available by The Pillar website, and our own summary of the salient point.)

As I mentioned in my commentary on Friday (Pope Francis urges Biden to receive Communion), the chief Eucharistic concern of serious Catholics today hinges on the common refusal of Church leaders, including Pope Francis, to forthrightly address the need to refuse communion to those claiming to be Catholic who are in public denial of Church teaching—really, in other words, in public denial of Christ. The courage to refuse the Eucharist in these situations is presumptively correct based on the Church’s constant past pastoral practice, the current requirements of Canon Law, and of course Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger’s deliberate clarifications to the US Bishops, when he was Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under Pope St. John Paul II. …

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