I was attending Holy Mass at 5 Pm last Sunday, to honor a holy priest's 45th Anniversary. Fr. Paul Daum has served faithfully in the Diocese of Rockville Centre in various capacities, but I know him best as the chaplain of Birthright, and the priest who offers the Indult Latin Mass once a month. His homilies inspire one to greater holiness, by a mixture of interpretation of the Scripture, and it's application to daily Catholic living. Fr Daum was preaching beautifully, as always. declaring his conviction that "abortion is infanticide", and we must resist the trend to weaken marriage, while maintaining compassion for those who struggle with homosexuality. I was watching the homily from the rear of the church, as Christina is often restless during Mass, and noticed Congressman Tim Bishop seated near the rear of rear of the Church with his family. When Fr. Daum mentioned these 'hot button social issues', Congressman Bishop blushed to the roots of his salt and pepper hair. It reminded me of his recent statement to the Holy Father after Pope Benedict stated that Catholic politicians who vote for abortion have excommunicated themselves, and their bishops may deny them Holy Communion.
Under Church law, someone who knowingly does or backs something which the Church considers a grave sin, such as abortion, inflicts what is known as "automatic excommunication" on themselves.The Pope said parliamentarians who vote in favor of abortion have "doubts about the value of life and the beauty of life and even a doubt about the future".
This was Congressman Bishop's response, he signed the following statement with 17 other pro-death Catholic politicians:
press release “The fact is that religious sanction in the political arena directly conflicts with our fundamental beliefs about the role and responsibility of democratic representatives in a pluralistic America – it also clashes with freedoms guaranteed in our Constitution. Such notions offend the very nature of the American experiment and do a great disservice to the centuries of good work the church has done.”
Tim Bishop said the pope's remarks "saddened" him enough to speak publicly. "To be threatened with excommunication, denied the sacraments ... for exercising my judgment ... as an elected official in a secular role ... I think is very unfortunate."
Fr. Trigilio has written his response to this outrage here.
I suddenly felt ill, as if I had been punched in the stomach, as I realized that it was likely that Tim Bishop was going to receive Jesus Christ, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, in a state of excommunication. I took the empty pew in front of him, with Christina, hoping to jar his memory of our confrontation, and thus afflict his conscience further, but to no avail. I believe he did remember me, as he was walking up to receive communion, he gave me a piercing look, which unsettled me. When he approached the altar, he did receive, but not from the faithful and holy Fr. Daum, he quickly skirted him, and received from the Extraordinary Minister. I was devastated, and offered prayers for his immortal soul, according to
Corinthians 11:27, 29 " For anyone who eats the bread and drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily, will have to answer for the body and blood o fhte Lord. . .For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgement on himself. "
I was unable to confront him after Mass, as he fled the church immediately after receiving communion. At least I made him uncomfortable, and now he will know why, as I will publicly confront him with this post in the local papers, and by sending his office a copy of this post.
He cannot fairly call me judgemental, as his act of communion is a public act, as were his consistent pro-death votes. I do not judge the state of his soul, just his public sins, which have, according to Pope Benedict's interpretation of Canon Law, excommunicated him. He blasphemed the Holy Eucharist on the Feast of Corpus Christi, may God have mercy upon his immortal soul.