Like Tony Abbott, I don’t object to Mr Rudd going to Mass.
I don’t even object to his interest in the canonisation of Blessed Mary Mackillop. I am interested in that too, and have blogged about it before.
There is a sense in which Mary Mackillop belongs to all Australians. We can all feel thankful for her example of faithful and courageous service.
Service which was the very opposite of self-seeking, or of seeking the company and attention of the powerful and famous.
I do object to Mr Rudd’s taking Communion.
This was unfair to the priest who celebrated, and unfair to the nuns who assisted.
If he has any respect for the Church to which he formerly belonged, Kevin Rudd should have known that it was not appropriate for him to present himself at the altar.
Understanding this does not depend on whether you are a Roman Catholic or not. I am not. Like Rudd, I am an Anglican.
But respect for the faith and conscience of others means that you do not put them in a position where they will be embarrassed or hurt so your ego can be stroked, or so you can make some sort of public statement, no matter how noble you imagine that statement to be.
Rudd is not a Catholic. He deliberately separated himself from communion with that family. Returning quite properly requires a period of public repentance and of re-learning the faith.
Rudd has no right to swan back in on a whim and expect to be given the most precious gift it is possible to receive in this life.
PS I will be attending Christmas Mass at the beautiful St Francis Xavier Cathedral in Geraldton. I will not be presenting myself for Communion.
Sadly, we Anglicans are separated from our Roman brothers and sisters. It is right that we should feel the pain of that separation, that we may be encouraged to work towards the unity for which our Saviour prayed.
I think the Pope agrees.