New York’s Cardinal Egan yesterday indicated he was upset about Rudi Giuliani’s reception of Holy Communion during the recent visit of Benedict XVI. His Eminence indicated the ex-Gotham mayor had violated their mutual understanding. Well quite frankly, Your Eminence, that is not a credible explanation of Giuliani’s reception of Holy Communion, nor does it remove responsibility from your office to ensure this did not happen. Prior to the Holy Father’s visit, the phone lines should have been red hot between the Cardinal’s and Rudi’s office, clearly telling him that reception of Eucharist was not meant for public supporters of abortion, in addition to the clear violation of Church law about the life commitment of marriage.

The perception of the ex-mayor that his reception of Holy Communion is a personal matter and not worthy of public scrutiny illustrates the real problem Catholics have in the United States about accepting the reality of the Catholic Church’s teachings on issues such as abortion and the sanctity of marriage. Reception of Holy Communion is not a personal matter, Mr. Giuliani. Eucharistic reception in the Catholic Church implies a person is in complete accord to the moral and ethical teachings of the Church and properly disposed to receive the Sacrament. Besides the obvious and complete disregard for the Catholic Church’s teachings on the sanctity of human life from conception until natural death, illicit and invalid marriages are part of the “not-properly” disposed list.

Catholic leaders, especially Cardinal Egan, need to publicly take responsibility for the proper catechesis and education of all Catholics that mistakenly believe our Sacred Eucharist is a purely personal matter for individual edification. Not only is Eucharist a participation in the life of the Body of Christ, it is a sign and symbol of our commonly held and most sacred beliefs. Pro-Choice advocates and Catholics engaged in serious moral sins are not eligible to receive Eucharist.

Any Catholic that has received an education in the sacramental preparation for Eucharist since the Baltimore catechism knows the gravity of a mortal sin and the correct disposition necessary to receive Holy Communion. It seems that vanity and egotism are the companion hallmarks of political manipulation for Rudy Giuliani.

While no one presumes to examine Mr. Giuliani’s internal forum and condition of his soul, the objective reality is this: he is not eligible to receive Communion because he advocates a social and moral stand that contradicts the Catholic Church’s moral and ethical teachings on multiple levels. Clearly, there is no lack of clarity on the part of the Catholic Church regarding its position towards politicians that hold a position that is pro-abortion.

Evidently, Cardinal Egan does not seem to understand the Vatican’s clear and concise teachings on the matter either. If he had understood, His Eminence would have publicly stopped Giuliani from reception of Communion by any means available during the liturgy. If indeed our Cardinal Archbishops are not able to make a public stand and uphold the doctrinal teachings of the Catholic Church, secularism has eroded the foundations of the Episcopate as well as the erroneous beliefs of misled Catholics.

Proclaiming the truth of our Catholic faith is not just a lesson in political correctness and protocol during Papal visits. The call to Catholicism means acting in a manner that builds up the unity of the Body of Christ, and defending Church teachings and principles. Cardinal Egan has failed in upholding the responsibility of his Episcopal office in permitting the former Mayor of New York to receive Eucharist at the Papal Mass. Not only is the Cardinal’s after-the-fact statement unacceptable, it illustrates the total lack of commitment that is rampant among our American bishops. Besides their concern for political diplomacy and social correctness the American bishops are giving up the fight against secular humanism and the continuing loss of authentic Catholic identity in our Church.

Cardinal Egan, you know better. Rudy Giuliani you know better. Faithful Catholics deserve better representation from their hierarchy in upholding Catholic teachings. Join the new Catholic movement that is growing among faithful Catholic believers…the rejection of secular and humanistic beliefs that undermine our sacred precepts and traditions. Your Eminence, join the faithful members of your Church and stand up against political manipulation and all aspects of pseudo-political correctness.

Hugh McNichol is a Catholic author that writes on Catholic religious topics and subjects. His articles can be found at and, and


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