It is time to re-issue a number of posts regarding the topic of the synod. Hence, I re-issue this one.
Should those Living in Sin be counseled to receive the Eucharist?
Well, a prior question is: Would one living in sin be wise if he or she were to receive the Eucharist? The answer is a resounding, “No.”
Why not? I have stated why not in a previous post. To sum up, if my bearing in life is against the will of God, then I am opposed to his loving embrace. The Eucharist is his loving embrace. Therefore, if I receive him in the Eucharist while living in sin, I do violence to him. I offend him. I trample his will. I negate his holiness. I mock his law. Therefore, I bring down his anger upon me.
There can be no excuse for doing this. And the consequence is everlasting alienation. That is, it is a grave sin to receive the Eucharist while in a state of sin. Much more while “living in sin”.
Now, the Magisterium is at the service of the Word of God. The Magisterium is not a “source” of revelation. Scripture and Tradition are the vehicles of the transmission of the one Word of God. The Magisterium is the servant of this Word and is strictly bound by it. See Dei verbum.
All right counsel in the Church must adhere to this Word of God. There is no such thing as “pastoral” advice that goes against this Word of God.
Therefore, if a priest were to advise that one who is living in sin receive the Eucharist, such advice would be very unpastoral. I have already argued this out in a previous post. Of course, if rumors of such counsel are running around, we would do best to consider that we do not know all the facts and that maybe there is not much behind the rumors. And then pray for our own souls.
What is impossible to understand is that some bishops are actually considering the possibility of the Church officially allowing divorced and remarried persons to receive the Eucharist. How could this be a good pastoral decision?
We must recall Church dogma: A valid sacramental marriage cannot be broken by any finite power whatsoever, not even by the hand of the Pope. Therefore, no really married Christian couple can ever break their bond. A divorce for them is a figment of the imagination, an impossibility. FULL STOP. Thus, if they attempt to “re-marry” they are day-dreaming a lie, a sham; their second marriage is a total sham. Their sexual relations with this new partner are adulterous. In that these people commit to a life in which such sins are readily available, they are “living in sin”. They meet the classical definition of “living in sin”. Now, the end of any mortal sin is death. But living in sin is a state of impenitence already anticipatory of damnation. This is most serious indeed.
Why on earth would any bishop consider allowing persons in such a dreadful state to embrace the Lord of Life in his Most Holy Sacrament?