Well. This takes the biscuit. What on earth is one to make of this story reproduced in Cathnews today:
Dilemma over communion for Rudd
Published: December 16, 2009
The chaplain and sisters at the Blessed Mary MacKillop’s Chapel in Sydney were caught unawares by the Prime Minister’s visit on Sunday and had to quickly decide on whether to refuse him Holy Communion, The Australian reports.
While the Prime Minister was raised and baptised as a Catholic, he now attends Anglican services with his wife Therese, once quipping: “It’s a unity ticket but I never resigned from Rome,” the report said.
Ultimately the chaplain present, Father Graeme Malone, did not give the Prime Minister communion. Instead, one of the nuns provided him with Holy Communion.
“Technically, the priest is not able to give communion regardless of whether he is the Prime Minister or a pauper in the street. I think the nun did the right thing, however. We wouldn’t want to embarrass the Prime Minister,” a member of the congregation reportedly said.
The Sisters of St Joseph said today they had “no comment” on the incident and would not discuss the Prime Minister’s private faith.
The Prime Minister’s office declined to comment on whether he had accepted Holy Communion. However, those present at the service confirmed to The Australian that he had.
So let’s get this straight: it was the wrong thing for Father to do, but it was the right thing for Sister to do? How is that? What sort of logic runs behind that idea? I mean, if “technically, the priest is not able to give communion regardless of whether he is the Prime Minister or a pauper in the street”, how can it be “technically” right for a extraordinary minister of the Eucharist to do this? Any clues?