- Seriously reflect on why they dissent on certain Catholic moral teaching, and try to conform to the Church's expectations.
- Continue to dissent, and abstain from communion, knowing their standing in the Church is compromised.
- Compound the problem, by receiving communion anyway, in direct violation of the bishops orders -- a mortal sin.
Serious sin a bar to receiving Communion, bishops say in new document
By Nancy Frazier O'Brien
Catholic News Service
BALTIMORE (CNS) -- Emphasizing that they were addressing all Catholics, and not just politicians or any other group, the U.S. bishops Nov. 14 voted in favor of a document calling on those in a state of serious sin to refrain from receiving Communion. The vote was 201-24, with two abstentions.
An effort to amend the document to specifically name politicians as among those who need to examine their consciences before receiving the Eucharist failed on a voice vote.
Titled "'Happy Are Those Who Are Called to His Supper': On Preparing to Receive Christ Worthily in the Eucharist," the document says that a Catholic who "knowingly and obstinately" rejects "the defined doctrines of the church" or repudiates "her definitive teaching on moral issues" would not be in communion with the church and therefore should not receive Communion.
"All kinds of people don't understand their responsibilities when going to the Eucharist," said Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli of Paterson, N.J., chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Doctrine. His committee prepared the document because of a request in November 2004 by Archbishop John J. Myers of Newark, N.J., for a statement on how Catholics should prepare to receive the Eucharist.
read full story here
read the bishop's statement here (.pdf)