Archbishop Harry Flynn has come under fire again (still?) for a reported incident at the Mass held on World Marriage Day. This Mass was held to celebrate the sacrament of Holy Matrimony, defined by the Church as being between one man and one woman. Of course, same-sex couples showed up to celebrate their own "marriages."
Here's where it always gets fun in the archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis. The archbishop is again accused of giving Holy Communion to people wearing the arm bands signifying their support of the right of homosexual couples to enjoy the same privileges of married life as truly-married couples. While some Eucharistic ministers refused Holy Communion to the arm band wearers, others did not. The archbishop was among them.
Did this really happen? Yes, according to Dennis McGrath, spokesman for the archdiocese. Here's his explanation: "The fact of the matter is it is true the archbishop gave them Communion. But the archbishop didn't see the armbands. When the archbishop gives someone Communion, he looks into their eyes, not at their arms. He never saw the darn things."
We'd like to believe that the archbishop was so caught up in the Holy Spirit and the gravity of his duty that the oversight can be excused. However, as Mitchell has put forth in his great post, What The Archbishop Knew, knowing that these things happen on a regular basis in this archdiocese, perhaps the archbishop should be just a little more aware of who is approaching him to receive Holy Communion. The archbishop also has a duty to the faithful and the public at large to make sure that his public displays do not bring on him and the Church any scandal.
It is said that the archbishop believes that just because someone wears an arm band in support of family or friends who are homosexuals, they might not be homosexuals themselves and they are not necessarily defying Church teaching on the practice of homosexuality. This is disingenuous. How can one support a group that openly defies Church teaching and not be defying it oneself? Isn't that rather like a politician who supports the right to abortion, but is personally opposed?
If the archbishop is not amenable to engage in battle himself, the least he can do is support us while we fight. Otherwise, it looks like he's on the side of the enemy. And who are we going to believe, him or our lyin' eyes.