By Don Pietro Leone
A spiritu fornicationis
libera nos, Domine
(invocation from the Litany of the Saints)
RECENT CHURCH MARITAL DOCTRINE UNTIL POPE FRANCIS
2. MORTAL SIN AND HOLY COMMUNION
The Traditional Doctrine
The Church has always warned faithful against receiving Holy Communion in the state of mortal sin. In the Maundy Thursday liturgy and in the Feast of Corpus Christi, the Church in Her Old Rite liturgy presents for our meditation the passage from chapter 11 of the First Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians 11 warning against the reception of Holy Communion to one’s damnation. On the latter feast, St. Thomas Aquinas himself, its author, pointedly repeats the phrase in the Communio prayer; and in the sequence Lauda Sion he unambiguously declares:
Sumunt boni sumunt mali, sorte tamen
İnaequalis, vitae vel interitus.
Mors est malis, vita bonis: vide paris
Sumptionis quam sit dispar exitus.
The good receive, the evil receive, but their destiny is different: life or death. Death is for the evil, life is for the good: see how unequal is the end of an equal reception.