The Man with the Black Hat had this to say recently:
I didn't notice it so much in DC last month-but I was too far away to tell who was on the field with the best seats. But that wasn't the case in 1979 in Boston. I was standing at the rope separating the faithful from the VIP's. I saw all the politicians and wondered why they were getting better seats at Mass than those of us who had been standing there for 12 hours in the rain.
Faithful Catholics were outraged when men and women in public office who profess to be Catholic, but who openly support legalized abortion, were able to receive communion at the Papal Mass celebrations in Washington and New York...
While you and I watched the events on television, or took our chances with parish lotteries in the DC and NYC areas for the few tickets available, these political luminaries were all treated to special VIP seating. What other message could possibly have been sent, other than that their public conduct was being given a pass? What compromises with Mammon are made to lead to moments like this? Were they worth it?
The Man with the Black Hat continues:
It was not so with Saint Ambrose in the fourth century. Back in his day, the Emperor Theodosius quelled an insurrection by ordering the deaths of everyone in the rebellious town, sparing no one, including women and children. Not only did Ambrose deny him Communion, but as the Emperor and his entourage were arriving for Mass, they were met at the door by the saintly bishop himself, who refused entry to the lot of them. Under penalty of excommunication issued on the spot, the Emperor withdrew. After doing penance, Theodosius was returned to the Sacraments.
Oh that we had this kind of courage today in our bishops!
Oremus pro invicem!