San Jose Bishop Patrick McGrath told practicing homosexuals that they will not be refused Holy Communion or a Christian burial in his diocese, as long as they request them in "good faith." Bishop McGrath issued the directive last week in response to Illinois Bishop Thomas Paprocki who, following Catholic teaching, said that those in same-sex "marriages" shouldn't present themselves to or be admitted to Holy Communion, nor should they receive a Catholic funeral if they died without showing signs of repentance.And then:
McGrath called Paprocki’s guidelines — without specifically mention his brother bishop — “confusing.” “Recent news reports of policies and practices related to members of the LGBT community in other dioceses can be confusing,” he wrote in his June 29th directive. “I take this opportunity to assure you that the pastoral response in the Diocese of San Jose remains just that: compassionate and pastoral. We will not refuse sacraments or Christian Burial to anyone who requests them in good faith,” he added.
McGrath justified admitting “anyone” to Holy Communion by quoting Pope Francis. “Finally, let us remember and be guided by the words of Pope Francis: ‘The Eucharist is not a prize for the perfect, but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.’ he said.
In the decree he sent to priests, deacons, seminarians and staff in his Springfield diocese last week, Bishop Thomas Paprocki sets forth a set of norms on same-sex marriage and related pastoral issues that he says are the policy of the diocese. Paprocki's decree bans priests and parish staff from performing same-sex marriages or allowing same-sex weddings or receptions at any Catholic facilities. People in same-sex marriages "should not present themselves for Holy Communion, nor should they be admitted to Holy Communion." A person in a same-sex marriage who is facing death may only receive communion after expressing "repentance for his or her sins."But according to Pope Francis, there is no confusion. Maybe this is exactly the issue. The Pope's own overtures have left the Roman Catholic Church with a confusing set of values and practices with individual bishops reading different things into the same words. Houston, we have a problem. . . .
Finally, Paprocki writes that "unless they have given some signs of repentance before their death," people in same-sex marriages may not receive a Catholic funeral.