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How negative are you? Think about it for just a moment.

Now, ask yourself, what did you mean by "negative"? Did you mean "grumpy and quarrelsome"? Maybe "disagreeable"? Did anyone mean, "able to say 'no' when it is necessary"? It was the latter that I was wondering about.

It came to mind when someone told me recently that a priest had told him he could receive communion even though he was sexually active with someone he was not married to. I got the impression from the description that the priest was cornered and probably felt bad about telling the young man "no, you cannot come to communion until you repent and go to confession". I admit it is hard for me also. I feel bad whenever I have to tell someone "you should not come to communion in a state of grave sin" (but I did not make this stuff up; I am only saying what the Church has said for 2,000 years).

With this thought in mind, I think that clergy need to be more "negative". They (including me) need to learn to be able to say "no" when people's souls are in danger. It is a temptation of the devil to "be nice" and clergy are not immune to this. I often start an answer with "you asked, so I need to tell you..."

I ask you to pray for all clergy (again, including me) that we will stop being so "positive" and "nice" and be willing to stand firm in the truth, and communicate, in a loving manner, what it means to be holy; especially when it involves the boundaries of Holy Communion. The eternal salvation of people is at stake and that is something we cannot compromise on.


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