This is a subject into which I’m going to poke my Protestant nose, which may be a symptom of my own sin of arrogance, but there it is.
Pope Francis insists that communion is a gift to all of us, not a prize for the perfect. He also says,
What must the pastor do? Be a pastor; don’t go condemning. Be a pastor, because he is a pastor also for the excommunicated.
He’s right, too, as far as he goes.
He also emphasizes
Whoever has an abortion kills. It is a human life. This human life must be respected—this principle is so clear.
He’s right here, too.
But while communion is for us sinners, including the excommunicated, for us who truly try to do better, who truly try to repent for our past failures, can it really be for those don’t bother, for those who reject the Church’s teachings outright?
It seems to me that those latter have taken themselves out of the church [sic] altogether. It’s not so much that they should be, or are, denied communion; they’ve made themselves ineligible for it.
And so it is for those who claim to be anti-abortion personally but fine with abortion for others. That strikes me as an especially grievous example of a sin of hypocrisy.
Bishop Michael Olson of the Ft Worth, Tx, Diocese:
He [Pope Francis] wants us to be pastors, and we also want to be pastors. But a pastor is not just a mascot for one’s private point of view.