Question from on 07-06-2007:
Dear Father, Before my conversion a couple years ago I was a lousy Catholic. I now LOVE the church so much I go to mass at least 3 times a week and confession twice a month. I always try to learn more and more about our faith. I am in a bible study. I am also now a Extraordinary minister of Holy Communion. I know of several people that alway recieve Communion when they should not. Many of them are invalid marriages or they come to mass only once in a while or have not been to confession since their teen years or openly mention being on birth control pills. This upsets me very much. I was told there is nothing I can do, but do you have any advice for me for a nice way to tell them of the wrong. I don't want them to say that I'm Holier than thou. Maybe I should just hope for their conversion like I've had? Thanks and sorry this is so long. Deb
Answer by Rev. Mark J. Gantley, JCL on 07-08-2007:
You should certainly pray for a deepening of their conversion to Christ.
Hammering people on the head does not bring them to conversion. This is clear, but as to the best way of handling such situations, a prudent consideration of the circumstances is necessary. Sometimes speaking to them privately and with concern might work. Other times it might be best to inform the priest and let him handle the situation. Of course, some of these people might be in objectively grave situations but subjectively not in mortal sin due to their ignorance. It is hard to give a general rule for all cases.
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