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Posted October 23, 2004

The Table of the Eucharist in an Election Year

Archbishop Harry Flynn
Origins, Oct. 14, 2004, Vol. 34: No.18

It is at the table of the Eucharist that we find the strength to be faithful citizens and to take what we believe into the public square, Archbishop Harry Flynn said in a Sept. 9 column. I do not believe that it is my responsibility or anyone elseís responsibility to pass judgment on Catholics as they proceed to the communion table. Flynn addressed issues related the Catholic voter as well as the question of the reception of Holy Communion by Catholic politicians whose public positions on legal abortion and some other issues conflict with church teaching. It is my strong belief that the Eucharist is a source of healing and unity, and that it should not be an occasion for political scrutinizing and judgments. He said he is committed to engaging the laity in transforming the world, and that his hope is that the teachings of the church will assist Catholics examine the positions of candidates and make choices based on Catholic moral and social teaching, but that responsibility for examination of conscience belongs to the persons (politicians) who ready themselves for communion. Flynn said that Faithful Citizenship: A Catholic Call to Political Responsibility, the guide to election-year issued by the Administrative Committee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, asks where is the place at the table for the hungry, poor, immigrants and a million of our nationís children who are destroyed every year before they are born. Flynn said we must encourage and challenge one another to use our voices and votes to defend life, advance justice, pursue peace and find a place at the table for all Godís children.

An Excerpt from the column:

The Eucharist challenges us to discover the profound meaning of our actions in the world as politicians, as people of God.Ē