Theological poppycock under the guise of piety and humility…
Is Everyone Unworthy to Receive Holy Communion?
A Refutation of “Cardinal” Blase Cupich
“For such false apostles are deceitful workmen,
transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.” (2 Cor 11:13)
The most recent example is his pious-sounding article “We Are All Unworthy”, published by the Chicago Catholic a few days ago. In it, this Modernist false shepherd puts on his somber face and argues that since everyone is unworthy of God’s gifts, and yet God loves us anyway, we shouldn’t “judge” others and exclude them from receiving Holy Communion.
Although he mentions no name and no issue explicitly, given the background of recent controversies in the United States, it is clear that what Cupich has in mind is the ongoing skirmish within the Vatican II Sect about whether people who publicly and proudly support tearing preborn children’s limbs off and sucking their brains out by a paid assassin dressed up as a doctor are “worthy” to receive the Novus Ordo wafer (incorrectly labeled “Holy Communion”). Cupich thinks he has found a clever argument: No, they’re not worthy, and neither are you, so shut up!
Publishing his article a few days before the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, as he did, adds insult to injury.
Here is what he wites:
Every day with God, who is both other and our adoptive parent, is a new day, a chance for a fresh start. We should also have that kind of humility when it comes to the way we treat others.
This is why we should shun any attempt to give up on ourselves or others. It is why we should be suspect of any talk of excluding people or concluding they are unworthy.
Let’s remember our response to the invitation to join the Communion procession: “Lord, I am not worthy … but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”
During the eucharistic prayer, I refer to myself as the Lord’s “unworthy servant.” The church and her leaders are called to form people, not to obstruct God’s grace by excluding or judging them. We leave the judgment to God.
(“Cardinal” Blase Cupich, “We are all unworthy”, Chicago Catholic, June 2, 2021)
Let’s dismantle this garbage step by step:
“Every day with God, who is both other and our adoptive parent, is a new day, a chance for a fresh start. We should also have that kind of humility when it comes to the way we treat others.”
The very first step to any fresh start is recognizing one’s sins for what they are. We are not talking simply about an abstract general acknowledgment that one has sinned, but about a concrete recognition and admission of specific individual mortal sins in species and number. Without this recognition, no serious amendment of life is possible, neither is specific supernatural sorrow for them.
When it comes to mortal sins that are public, Holy Mother Church knows that the way to lead the sinner back to God — and thus to enable that “fresh start” — is to rebuke him harshly and to punish him. Such punishment can consist of the refusal of the sacraments, placing him under interdict, or, in particularly serious cases, excluding him from the communion of the faithful altogether by excommunication.
Thus we read in the Church’s law (Canon 855 §1):
Catholics who are publicly known to be unworthy (for example, those who have been excommunicated or interdicted, or who are manifestly of ill repute) must be refused Holy Communion until their repentance and amendment have been established, and satisfaction has been made for the public scandal which they have given.
(Rev. Stanislaus Woywod, A Practical Commentary on the Code of Canon Law, rev. by Rev. Callistus Smith [New York: Joseph F. Wagner, 1952], n. 753.)
These are medicinal punishments. Their immediate aim is that the sinner repent and return to God, and once that happens — through an act that must likewise be publicly manifested — the penalties are rescinded.
Such a way of proceeding is not at all unreasonable. In fact, it is how God Himself acts, and how He wants His disciples to act, both in the Old and in the New Testaments. For example:
Say to them: As I live, saith the Lord God, I desire not the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way, and live. Turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways: and why will you die, O house of Israel?
For if you turn again to the Lord: your brethren, and children shall find mercy before their masters, that have led them away captive, and they shall return into this land: for the Lord your God is merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if you return to him.
(2 Paralipomenon [2 Chronicles] 30:9)
But if thy brother shall offend against thee, go, and rebuke him between thee and him alone. If he shall hear thee, thou shalt gain thy brother. And if he will not hear thee, take with thee one or two more: that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may stand. And if he will not hear them: tell the church. And if he will not hear the church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican. Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven.
But whilst we are judged, we are chastised by the Lord, that we be not condemned with this world.
(1 Corinthians 11:32)
Did our Blessed Lord excoriate the scribes and Pharisees out of malice or spite? Hardly. He rebuked them and dressed them down in front of everyone because He loved them and sought their conversion, in addition to warning others about them:
[God] will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
(1 Timothy 2:4)
For I tell you, that unless your justice abound more than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered together thy children, as the hen doth gather her chickens under her wings, and thou wouldest not? Behold, your house shall be left to you, desolate.
Returning now to Mr. Cupich’s claptrap:
“This is why we should shun any attempt to give up on ourselves or others. It is why we should be suspect of any talk of excluding people or concluding they are unworthy.”
Excluding the unworthy is not giving up on them. It is, rather, a last-ditch effort to get them to repent. It is the “tough love” that every parent will show his child in order to bring him back to the straight and narrow, rather than abandon him to his sins and misguided paths — that would truly be giving up on him.
St. Paul the Apostle was quite clear with regard to excluding those who are manifestly unworthy:
Purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new paste, as you are unleavened. For Christ our pasch is sacrificed. Therefore let us feast, not with the old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. I wrote to you in an epistle, not to keep company with fornicators. I mean not with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or the extortioners, or the servers of idols; otherwise you must needs go out of this world. But now I have written to you, not to keep company, if any man that is named a brother, be a fornicator, or covetous, or a server of idols, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner: with such a one, not so much as to eat. For what have I to do to judge them that are without? Do not you judge them that are within? For them that are without, God will judge. Put away the evil one from among yourselves.
(1 Corinthians 5:7-13)
Thus we see it was St. Paul, writing under divine inspiration, exhorting us to exclude certain people and marginalize them.
In fact, writing to the Thessalonians, the same Apostle even made clear what the purpose of this exclusion is: “And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed” (2 Thess 3:14). Shame can be a very salutary thing!
In his First Epistle to the Corinthians, St. Paul also speaks directly and explicitly about the question of unworthiness to receive Holy Communion:
For as often as you shall eat this bread, and drink the chalice, you shall shew the death of the Lord, until he come. Therefore 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. But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord. Therefore are there many infirm and weak among you, and many sleep.
(1 Corinthians 11:26-30)
What, did the “Archbishop” of Chicago mysteriously miss these passages all his life? Of course not. Cupich knows very well what he is doing — he is not an idiot. He is deliberately misleading people in order to cause further ruin to souls.
“Let’s remember our response to the invitation to join the Communion procession: ‘Lord, I am not worthy … but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.'”
So, which is it? Are we all unworthy, or should we refraing from “excluding people or concluding they are unworthy”? Cupich can’t have it both ways.
In any case, with this line of argumentation the Archlayman of Chicago is simply being disingenuous because he is deliberately confusing different kinds or senses of unworthiness.
Yes, in a strict sense, we are all unworthy, as we proclaim at every Holy Mass: Domine, non sum dignus… (“Lord, I am not worthy…”). After all, how could a mere creature ever be “worthy” — in the sense of being deserving or having a claim on God — of receiving the very Body and Blood of the Incarnate God?!
But there is another kind or sense of unworthiness. We might call it a canonical unworthiness. By this is meant that we have publicly transgressed the moral and/or ecclesiastical law to such an extent that the Church forbids us from approaching the sacraments until we have amended our lives because receiving them without prior repentance would constitute a mortal sin of sacrilege and give untold scandal to others. As St. Paul writes: “Some men’s sins are manifest, going before to judgment: and some men they follow after” (1 Tim 5:24).
“During the eucharistic prayer, I refer to myself as the Lord’s ‘unworthy servant.'”
The “unworthy” part couldn’t be more accurate; it is the “servant” part that is misplaced. Mr. Cupich is not a servant of God, worthy or unworthy; he is God’s enemy. Simon Peter was God’s unworthy servant; Judas Iscariot was His enemy.
“The church and her leaders are called to form people, not to obstruct God’s grace by excluding or judging them. We leave the judgment to God.”
A necessary element to forming people is punishing them when they go seriously astray. Any parent knows it — indeed, any child knows it.
The same goes for the Church, and that has nothing to do with “obstructing God’s grace”, any more than St. Paul exhorting the Corinthians not to receive Holy Communion unworthily was an impertinent obstruction of grace. On the contrary, since “he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself”, there is no grace being obstructed; what’s being blocked is additional (eternal) punishment. The Church’s exclusion through the public refusal of the sacraments is actually itself a grace, a mercy being shown to the recalcitrant sinner.
It is not true to say that all judgment must be left to God. Far from it. Christ the Lord in fact gave to His Church the specific power to rule and judge (jurisdiction): “Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven” (Mt 18:18).
Not only does the Church have the right and duty to judge, even the individual Catholic can and must judge concerning some things. For instance, how is a Christian to “beware of the leaven of the Pharisees” (Mk 8:15), if he cannot judge? How is a Catholic supposed to tell the true shepherd from the hireling and especially the wolf (see Jn 10:11-14), or the true Gospel from a counterfeit (see Gal 1:8-9), if he leaves all judgment to God?
How are we to “[b]eware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (Mt 7:15) without judging them? Indeed, how are we to obey Christ’s command, “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge just judgment” (Jn 7:24) if we refrain from judging altogether?
“But the spiritual man judgeth all things; and he himself is judged of no man” (1 Cor 2:15).
The truth is that far from not judging at all, we are simply to refrain from judging rashly, that is, we are not to render an unfavorable judgment of our neighbor without sufficient evidence. Even when there is sufficient evidence, we are to think well of our neighbor as much as reasonably possible. A typical example would be that if someone says an unkind word to us, we are not to simply assume that it was done out of malice or with a deliberate desire to offend but that there were perhaps extenuating circumstances rendering the deed less than fully culpable.
This noble and eminently reasonable principle — consonant with the Golden Rule (see Lk 6:31) and the doctrine of charity (see 1 Cor 13) — has been totally distorted and stretched to the death by people like “Cardinal” Cupich, who continually manipulate and abuse it in order to excuse and enable people who commit the most heinous acts. This allows them to continue masquerading as “devout Catholics” with impunity, to the bewilderment and detriment of souls.
One way to know that Cupich’s argumentation is disingenuous is to see whether he would ever dream of applying it to a different scenario, one that is very much near and dear to his heart. For example, is it conceivable that Cupich would use a “don’t judge” approach to accept, tolerate, or excuse racism, discrimination, “homophobia”, the building of border walls, or the exploiting of the environment? To ask the question is to answer it.
There is more in Cupich’s rotten article that deserves comment, but we will restrict ourselves to commenting on only one more quote. He says: “Having on a daily basis an awareness that God has adopted all of us reminds us that God, like any parent, will not refuse us anything or stop loving us, or fail to provide us new opportunities to grow and mature.”
This is simply, as Bp. Donald Sanborn would put it, “bovine manure.”
First, God has not adopted all of us, not even all Catholics. The “adoption of sons” (Gal 4:5) comes not with the indelible mark of baptism but with the state of sanctifying grace. When we lose the state of grace, we cease to be God’s adopted children, and we return to being “children of wrath” (Eph 2:3):
The just man … is a child of God merely by the possession of sanctifying grace, which can be lost by mortal sin and consequently is founded upon a free relation that may be terminated by man as freely as it was entered into between himself and God.
(Mgr. Joseph Pohle, Dogmatic Theology, vol. 7, pp. 358-359)
But since all mortal sins, even those of thought, make men children of wrath [Eph. 2:3] and enemies of God, it is necessary to ask pardon for all of them from God by an open and humble confession.
(Council of Trent, Session 13, Ch. 5; Denz. 899)
For the Spirit himself giveth testimony to our spirit, that we are the sons of God. And if sons, heirs also; heirs indeed of God, and joint heirs with Christ: yet so, if we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified with him.
Also, Cupich’s idea that God will not refuse us anything, no matter how hardened in sin we may be, is likewise false. In fact, it is so obviously false that it needs no refutation, especially since it was offered without any evidence.
All the foregoing suffices to put the false cardinal-archbishop in his place. He is a spiritual deceiver of the worst sort. His constant and consistent teachings and behavior simply cannot reasonably be explained any other way. We are not permitted to judge rashly, but we are also not permitted to be fools (see Mt 10:16)! As St. Robert Bellarmine wrote, “it would be the most miserable condition of the Church, if she should be compelled to recognize a wolf, manifestly prowling, for a shepherd” (De Romano Pontifice, Book II, Chapter 30; Grant translation).
By the way: Rumor has it that Francis is eyeing to make the 72-year-old Cupich head of the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops, the dicastery responsible for selecting “bishops” for the entire world.
Theologically and pastorally, Cupich is basically a Francis clone, yet he is so beyond the pale that not even professional Francis admirer Mark Shea approves of him. His becoming prefect of said congregation would help ensure that most new “Catholic bishops” in the world will be mini Bergoglios — or worse.
In 2015, at the height of the Planned Parenthood baby parts selling scandal, Cupich infamously commented:
While commerce in the remains of defenseless children is particularly repulsive, we should be no less appalled by the indifference toward the thousands of people who die daily for lack of decent medical care; who are denied rights by a broken immigration system and by racism; who suffer in hunger, joblessness and want; who pay the price of violence in gun-saturated neighborhoods; or who are executed by the state in the name of justice.
(Blase Cupich, quoted in “For Archbishop Cupich, Planned Parenthood videos should urge us to fight all social ills”, Catholic News Agency, Aug. 6, 2015.)
Clearly, a man after Bergoglio’s heart!
The truth is that Cupich is not a Catholic anything, not even a Catholic layman. He is an anti-Catholic operative and agitator whose job it evidently is to wreck and ruin whatever remnants of Catholicism might still be left in souls.
His latest monograph arguing for everyone’s Eucharistic (un)worthiness, is simply meant to ensure that all pseudo-Catholics who promote great spiritual and temporal evils to the detrminent of the common good, all the while proclaiming themselves “devout Catholics” and hobnobbing with clergy in high positions, will be able to continue doing so with success and impunity.
That’s what Cupich is doing here, and all the talk about a “fresh start” and “not giving up” and “humility” is just spiritual manipulation. He’s a pro at it. Why else would Francis have sent him to Chicago and made him a “cardinal”?
To sum up: Yes indeed, strictly speaking, we are all unworthy of the Body and Blood of our Lord and Redeemer. But some, having responded to God’s grace, are supernaturally sorry for their unworthiness, and therefore God makes them worthy by His grace and mercy; whereas others are hardened in their unworthiness and put it proudly on display, wherefore God rejects them and vomits them out of His Mouth (cf. Apoc 3:16; Mt 15:7-9).
Exit Blase Cupich.
Image source: youtube.com (screenshot)
License: fair use