Bishop Paprocki Defends Priest That Denies Communion to Catholic Politician

Citing Canon 915, Bishop Says Senator Durbin Is Not Allowed to Receive Holy Communion

by , Breitbart

Following the priest’s withholding of the sacrament, Bishop Thomas Paprocki replied to a pro-life activist’s email about the issue. Matt Abbott at RenewAmerica published the bishop’s response:

Dear Mr. [name redacted], Senator Durbin was informed several years ago by his pastor at Blessed Sacrament Parish here in Springfield that he was not permitted to receive Holy Communion per canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law. My predecessor upheld that decision and it remains in effect. It is my understanding that the senator is complying with that decision here in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois.

Bishop Thomas John Paprocki

Bishop Thomas John Paprocki

Paprocki has been an ardent enforcer of the Church’s teachings on the sanctity of human life and marriage.

In October,  Bishop Paprocki derailed an attempt by the gay activist Rainbow Sash Movement to have prayer inside Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Springfield specifically for the Illinois legislature’s approval of a same-sex marriage bill.

Paprocki warned that people who call themselves Christians should not profane God by asking Him to publicly degrade the sacrament of matrimony.

The following month, Bishop Paprocki performed an exorcism at the cathedral on the day Gov. Pat Quinn (D-IL) signed the same-sex marriage bill into law.

Bishop Paprocki referenced Pope Francis’s words about same-sex marriage while he was archbishop of Buenos Aires, referring to it as “a move of the father of lies who wishes to confuse and deceive the children of God.”

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36 comments to Bishop Paprocki Defends Priest That Denies Communion to Catholic Politician

  • Gerarda

    Michael, no one can assault your morals. Your morals are your own, personally, to have and to hold. No one can assault them, change them, or take them away from you. So, just chill!

  • Patricia Delgado

    I wish the bishop of Richmond , Virginia would listen to Bishop Paprocki, and the pastor of St. Elizabeth’s Church where tim Kaine takes to Holy Eucharist in a state of mortal sin. He tried to explain him being for pro-abortion, and same sex marriage by saying, he doesn’t want to put his ideas on his constituents, so personally, he is against, but, publically he is pro-choice. The man is a liar, and the truth is not in him. Neither is his bishop, or priest! Tim Kaine may call himself Catholic, but he is in grave sin.

    • leach ed

      Who are you to judge?Where in the New Testament does Jesus say you must judge your brother and call him disrespectful names? The very essence of my Catholicism as a follower of Christ is love of humanity(as hard as it may be ).I truly cannot imagine Christ using the language you use when talking about our brethren.

      • Hello Leach,

        Good question. We all are called to judge as ordered by Jesus Christ, but we must judge correctly. Now can you show me any disrespectful names used? Even Jesus used harsh words. See below. I agree we are called to love humanity, but where in scripture are we called to love the human sinfulness?

        John 7:24 Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”

        Luke 7:43 Simon answered, “I suppose the one for whom he canceled the greater debt.” And Jesus said to him, “You have judged rightly.”

        Luke 12:57 “And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?

        Harsh Words

        Matthew 12:34 You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

        John 8:43-44 Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires.

        Just some food for thought.

        God bless,
        John Quinn

  • Francine Scism

    Jesus NEVER said continue with your sins, He made it quite clear that you are to repent of your sins and go and sin no more. While it is true that we are all sinners, it is also true that we are to strive to sin no more as He told us, and because we are all sinners that does not mean we are to continue in our sins. Confess your sins, avoid the occasions of sin and try to sin no more. No one is perfect but the trick is to try to be perfect.

  • Debra Brunsberg

    The altar is not a table and the Eucharist is not a snack. When someone receives the Eucharist in the Catholic Church, they are affirming that they believe all that She teaches and that they are in a worthy state of grace to receive the Eucharist. This is the body, blood, soul and divinity of Our Lord Jesus. Jesus Christ instituted the Eucharist at the Last Supper, in which He only invited the Apostles. He did not invite sinners to this Divine meal. It would be very nice if people who want to comment on issues in the Catholic Church would at least know something about Jesus Christ and the Church He instituted and is the Head of. This is not some little denomination set up by some guy. It is not a denomination at all, but the living, breathing, legacy of Christ. It is the only place in which one may receive the Eucharist. Catholics should know this. To receive the Eucharist unworthily or in grave sin only brings condemnation upon the soul. That is biblical. So, denying the Eucharist to someone who lives a life of grave sin is a mercy and a hope for their conversion from sin. Supporting abortion is a grave sin and a person in public office who voices their support for this same sin, must publicly denounce it and go to confession prior to receiving the Eucharist.

    • PhylByl

      The Apostles were sinners just like you and me

    • Gerarda

      I don’t know where you get your information, about which you seem to be so certain. How do you know the apostles were not sinners? I don’t remember that tidbit of information in my 13 years of Catholic education; indeed, I learned and believe that we are all sinners. My Jesus would not discriminate toward anyone, in order to leave them out of a dinner. My Jesus loved everyone and treated everyone fairly and kindly, regardless of color, nationality, sex, health, sexual persuasion, or wealth. My Jesus was not a bigot. He taught us what to do, but, too often, we tend to think we’re just too good or holy to what Jesus did.

  • velvet

    When I sometimes feel just a bit depressed about the blindness and rebelliousness of God’s children around the world, and the demonic attacks from all sides, I see the strength of his church in the people who are faithful (from the comments read) and the light breaks through the darkness and I feel strong and fearless – I know that Jesus’s words that the gates of hell will not prevail against his church are true and it will endure until the end of time. At least in America (God Bless it) there is still a resistance group who are fighting against these radical issues, but in Canada here, all is ‘liberal’ and accepted and there’s apathy or fear of reprisal if one speaks out. Many boomers are ‘on the way out’ but the teens and children are at great risk of losing their faith because even the educators and clergy are defending ‘compassion for all’ without regard for church teaching or the consequences of eternal life.

  • Kathy Little

    We live in a culture where right is wrong and wrong is right. I celebrate Bishop Paprocki and will pray for him in all his endeavors. We must all remember now during the year of mercy, and onward, that each of us has the capacity for conversion, so we must pray for people like Mrs. Pelosi, Sen. Durbin, and all these folks who are breaking God’s law to protect their jobs…Add them to the prayers said at the consecration…they are God’s wayward children.

    • Jennifer McCoy

      Thank you so much Arch Bishop for standing up for the church and christ,Caring for the souls enough of those people who shouldn’t take communion.Even when they don’t care or know. These are the folks that by example lead my 12 children astray, And help take people to help with there example and ideaolgy thank you for having the courage to defend our Lord Bishop Kemme is our bishop so far so good he came from your diocese thank you

    • Jennifer McCoy

      Thank you so much Arch Bishop for standing up for the church and christ,Caring for the souls enough of those people who shouldn’t take communion.Even when they don’t care or know. These are the folks that by example lead my 12 children astray, And help take people to hell with there example and ideaolgy thank you for having the courage to defend our Lord Bishop Kemme is our bishop so far so good he came from your diocese thank you

  • Frank

    That the supreme (lower case by emphasis) court declared an arrangement between same sex couples as “marriage” is as inane as and the equivalent of their having declared a cow is now a chicken. Simply and empirically it does not occur in Natural law. Perhaps over time those same sex couples will breed themselves out of the debate. Love the sinner, denounce the sin! Stand for your Christian values or fall for anything. Thank you Bishop for your courage to proclaim the truth !

  • Ann

    I never understood when someone judges another
    when Christ is our Judge.
    Did the priest know if the politician went to
    confession or not?

    • Snake

      Ann, you do NOT understand the context of the word Judge in Holy Scriptures. It does NOT mean as you “interpret” it. What it is meant is, you cannot tell a person YOU are going to Heaven or Hell. Because only GOD knows that unless HE gives certain gifts to certain people such as the Cure D’Ars, Father Pio, etc. BUT scripture clearly points out if a person is in sin, you are to inform him so that he may change his ways. This is NOT the same as judging that person.
      Concerning Confession, If a Pro Murder Politician keeps voting for abortioncide, and goes to confession, IF you remember in confession you clearly state you will attempt NOT to do the same sin again. In this case, his sins would be bound because he has made NO attempt to change his voting. Thus his sins were not forgiven.

      Hope this clears up your understanding of cannon law.

      • dennis

        It seems rather plain in the scriptures when Christ said that those who a blameless can toss the first stone. He made no reference to telling people that you are going to heaven, just that only the blameless may judge. Since a confessed sinner, a Christian, is given heaven by Jesus’s death and ressurection, why should they not tell someone that they are going to heaven? Is this a lie making it a sin? I would like to see your scriptural references

        • M J Nelson

          We are not to judge the state of a person’s soul or, in most cases, their inner thoughts and motivations known only to God. We may, however, judge a person’s actions and words. For scriptural references on those in the church passing judgment on others in the church, you might see I Corinthians 5:11-13. So if a politician claims to be a Catholic, the priest of the church can look at his actions and words and determine if said politician’s soul would be endangered by preventing a parishioner from taking the Eucharist in an unworthy manner. [I Corinthians 11: 27Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. 28But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice. 29For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord. 30Therefore are there many inform and weak among you, and many sleep. ]

  • Patty Bennett

    Those who REFUSE to be in communion with the Catholic Church should not demand Holy Communion from the Catholic Church. God Bless Bishop Paprocki!

  • Randy

    I was shocked at the pope’s deliverance of the Eucharist to Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden. How does the church reconcile this?

    • Dave

      Randy, you bring up a very good point. I cannot speak for the Pope but I will say that when this is done it brings scandal to faithful Catholics. We’re left scratching our heads. No wonder so many have left the Church. Firstly, our priests and bishops are required to be a good public witness then the faithful. When the faithful see actions like this and Biden and Pelosi seems unchanged by receiving Jesus we throw up our hands and say, “What gives!” Let’s both continue to pray for our priests and bishops that they courageously stand for Christ’s church no matter the consequences.

  • Michael Liverani Sr

    I an SO grateful that someone in our priestly hierarchy finally stood up for the reverential reception of the body of Christ. There are so many politicians who are Catholic in name only whom I believe are doing Satan’s work. I wish more of our bishops and cardinals would stand up to show those of us being beaten to death with this assault on our morals that we can stand up and be proud of iur moral stands on life and marriage. Thank you Eminence!

  • lisag

    I am sure that at any point Jesus could prevent himself from being taken by an unworthy communicate. If he can turn His Eucharistic self into muscle tissue He could certainly strike someone dead or take away His essence from the host. He relies on the communicant’s free will to follow His teaching and the parish pastor to regulate His distribution. It must start with humility and not the feeling of entitlement. “Lord I am not worthy to for You to enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.” Do we truly believe that. If so then we should refrain from communion until we have been made whole.

    • Jack

      Lisag, you are right.
      But our Holy Mother the Church gave a precious help to those who are unworthy to receive the true Body of Christ in allowing them (and us) to make a “spiritual communion”.
      That spiritual communion is a call to Christ of everyone who feels temporarily or permanently unworthy to unite Himself with his soul. Christ alone is able to discern the sincerity of this call and to reply it in the same way as a true communion.

  • Br. Christopher B.P.P.

    Our priest at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels gives communion out to the gay couples like its candy. After telling a gay couple they are not suppose to receive communion if they are not living chaste lives. Their response… “That’s a medieval teaching.” Hmmmm!

  • Jeff

    “Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord…For all who eat and drink without discerning the body, eat and drink judgement against themselves” (1 Cor 11:27,29

  • tg

    God bless Bishop Paprocki. We need more bishops like him. St. Athanasius, pray for our clergy to have the courage you had in your day.

  • maribeth lavender

    Jesus did not turn anyone away but he said “GO AND SIN NO MORE”…

  • Chris

    It isn’t the job of government to facilitate divine salvation;it is the job of government to legislate the will of the people and sometimes governmental decisions will be at odds with certain religious groups. These religious groups are completely free to ban any practice they are troubled with, e.g. same sex marriage, for the members of their own church.

    • Mary Bennett

      Dear Chris,
      You may be misunderstanding the point. When a bishop or priest denies Holy Communion to someone who is evidently NOT living according to the Catholic faith (someone living in a state of unrepentant serious sin) the bishop or priest is actually DOING THAT PERSON A FAVOR!
      Please read ALL of St. Paul’s letters to the Corinthians. St. Paul explains well that one who receives the Body and Blood of our Lord in an unworthy manner eats and drinks CONDEMNATION upon himself. Embrace the Truth. If someone doesn’t really BELIEVE in the Eucharist, why receive?
      You seem to be under the mistaken impression that the bishop’s goal is to influence secular legislation, and that the Eucharist is a tool for this goal. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Bishop is concerned with something far more important. God created everything that is.
      Marriage is ordained by God. Men and women are complementary. Children need both a mother and a father. GENUINE marriage is one man, and one woman, committed for a lifetime. If a politician chooses to deny that reality, if a politician chooses to reject that Truth, and work AGAINST the truth, the Bishop has no ability to force the politician to come back into contact with reality and truth. If the politician supports the slaughter of the innocents, like a modern-day Herod, the bishop has no ability to FORCE the politician to stop cooperating in murder.
      But the Bishop DEFINITELY has the authority to inform that politician that he is in danger of losing his soul. The bishop DEFINITELY has the authority and the DUTY to inform the politician that he must not PRETEND to be in communion with the Catholic faith. The culture of death has no place in the Catholic Church. This is why I always say that anyone who refuses to BE IN COMMUNION with the Catholic Church must not DEMAND COMMUNION FROM the Catholic Church!

  • Jon C.

    Would Jesus ever turn someone away from his table?

    • Patty


      Jesus would never turn a REPENTANT sinner away from his table. However, he absolutely WOULD turn an unrepentant sinner away from his table.

      • JOHN C

        Otherwise there would be no eternal punishment of Hell if Jesus accepted everyone.Jesus says the broad road to help is wide and to enter the narrow hate and few that find it.

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