Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver pushed back on Cardinal Robert McElroy’s call to give Communion to homosexuals and adulterers in “objectively grave sin,” insisting that inclusion “cannot mean that we remain in our sins.”

McElroy sparked controversy with an essay last week in America Magazine explicitly rejecting “a theology of eucharistic coherence” and demanding “radical inclusion” of “LGBT persons,” including those who practice sodomy, without calling them to repentance. 

Archbishop Aquila published a powerful response to the left-wing San Diego cardinal in Catholic World Report on Wednesday that detailed his reversion to Catholicism as a young man and took aim at bishops who fail to preach “the radicality of the Gospel.”

“Cardinal McElroy’s reflection paints the Church as an institution that harms due to its incapacity to welcome everyone into full participation in the life of the Church,” he observed. “According to His Eminence, the Church categorically discriminates, but did not Jesus himself put demands on his disciples which distinguished them from those who did not respond to the radical and costly call of the Gospel?”

The Denver archbishop pointed to Jesus’ encounter with the rich young man in St. Mark’s Gospel, in which He “demands radical discipleship from the young man” but allows him to refuse it. “Furthermore, Jesus lays out the cost of discipleship as denying oneself, and even family, for the sake of the Gospel (cf. Lk 9:23-26; Mt 16:24-25; Lk 14:25-27),” he noted.

“The Church recognizes that someone who lives a particular way, whether it be in willing violation of natural law or some other moral category, is not in communion with the Church,” he wrote. “This is not to condemn the person, but to recognize the truth of their situation and call their immortal soul to something greater.”

While the Eucharist is “not for the perfect,” he acknowledged, “it is for those who are in communion” and is “a sign of unity that belongs to those who are in a state of grace.”

“Yes, we are to invite and include, but not at the expense of leaving others and ourselves mired in sin that separates us from God. The laws of God are laws of a loving Father so his children may live in his joy.”

Full story at LifeSiteNews.