Skip to comments.For Pro-Choice Politicians, a Pass With the Pope
Posted on 04/28/2008 2:05:51 AM PDT by Dawnsblood
In the aftermath of the U.S. visit by Pope Benedict XVI, traditional Catholics are asking a troublesome question: Did pro-choice politicians receiving Communion at the papal Masses indicate the pope had softened on the abortion question? The answer is no. On the contrary, it reflected disobedience to Benedict by the archbishops of New York and Washington.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sens. John Kerry, Christopher Dodd and Edward M. Kennedy received Communion at Nationals Park in Washington, as did former mayor Rudolph Giuliani at Yankee Stadium in New York. Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington and Cardinal Edward Egan, archbishop of New York, invited them. Given choice seats, they took Communion as a matter of course.
Vatican sources say the pope has not retreated from his long-held position that pro-choice politicians should be deprived of Communion, but the decisions in Washington and New York were not his. The effect was to dull the pope's messages of faith, obligation and compassion. In his Yankee Stadium homily, he talked of "authority" and "obedience" -- acknowledging that "these are not easy words to speak nowadays." They surely are not for four former presidential candidates and two princes of the church, representing Catholics who defy their faith's doctrine on abortion.
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What offends me the most is that they were given “choice” seats. Let them stand in line like the plebes.
Wuerl and Egan are themselves not really in communion with the Catholic Church.
The Catholic Church teaches that abortion is homicide. It follows directly from this that “legalized” abortion is a grave social injustice, because it is “legalized” homicide.
Catholics who ARE in communion with the Catholic Church should not attend Masses celebrated by bishops who will not obey Canon 915, because the failure to obey Canon 915 betokens disagreement with the Church on this proposition: It is grave matter (i.e., a mortal sin) to approve, promote, campaign for, or vote for, any law which implies that abortion is something other than homicide. And this is what ALL “pro-choice” politicians do.
Every bishop who is objectively pro-abortion—such as Wuerl in Washington, and Egan in New York—should face congregations in communion with themselves—i.e., composed ENTIRELY of pro-abortion “Catholics.” Pro-life Catholics should stay away, because it makes no sense for Catholics to attend Masses celebrated by priests or bishops who are not in communion with the Church.
Egan is marginally better than Wuerl, but they’re both Dems first and Catholics second. And they’re both desperate not to make waves. Egan retires next year and I hope they replace him with an O’Connor, although men like him are extremely rare in any organization, including the Church.
The Pope had a private talk with all the bishops and met with these two in particular. I don’t think much could have been done at the public masses without creating a scene, which in some ways was probably just what the Dems were hoping for. Also, which priest would have had the job of refusing Communion to them, surrounded by television cameras as they carried on and had hissy fits?
Furthermore, I think the Pope realizes that the whole discipline surrounding Communion in this country is so degraded that the entire country needs re-catechizing. It was known that he actually did not want to celebrate these large masses, partly because many people go to Communion who shouldn’t be anywhere near the sacrament. This includes not only politicians but people who haven’t been to confession for 20 years, people with strange marriage situations (like Giuliani!), and even people who go for the purpose of stealing consecrated hosts.
In any case, the bishops are the ones who have to enforce this and I hope we’ll see something happen soon. Personally, I don’t think BXVI’s earliest appointments here have been very good (Wuerl, Neiderauer) and I wonder who’s advising him on the US. I hope he’s replaced that person, whoever it was - and maybe he has, because some of his more recent appointments seem to have been very good. It will be interesting to see who gets Egan’s place.
I hate to offer what may appear to be support for Ted Kennedy, but, from what I remember witnessing, he actually did not receive Communion at the National’s Stadium Mass. Maybe it was erroneous reporting from that day, but I remember a picture with a caption that indicated he remained seated as others went up to receive. I remember the picture clearly because I remember thinking he looked almost defeated, as if he had relented, about something. I actually felt a strange mix of pity and respect for him at that moment.
Again, maybe it was erroneous reporting that day. If anyone knows for certain, I’d appreciate some clarification.
I do hope that there were priests who were able to hear confessions at both stadiums in the hours before the masses. If my memory is correct, in Washington DC that was the case. I do not know if it was done in NYC at Yankee Stadium. Have a friend who went but forgot to ask. It is not suprising that this Pope is not crazy for large gatherings, but the faithful want to see him.
Confessions were available in NYC, but my impression of the procedure used was that it was rather spontaneous, and not organized by anyone. I got the impression that someone stopped a priest here and there in the hallways for a Confession, but after that first one was done, another came up, and then another, etc (people were lined up in the corridors, waiting to get to a priest, and, at any given time, the current penitent and the priest s/he was confessing to were out in the open, with no truly private area for the two. The people waiting in line did have a rather respectful distance between the two, but there weren’t any areas set aside like I heard there were at Washington DC.) I was glad I made a point of going to Confession a few days before. It was nice to see some people willing to suffer such ignominy for the sake of their souls though.
And just exactly what is wrong with that? Seems to me, a perfect opportunity was wasted for the Pope to make his message and the message of the church to be heard 'round the world. Most members of the Catholic faith members detest abortion and hold their noses when they pull the lever for these scums because they are "democrats" which their fathers and their fathers fathers supported. This was a perfect opportunity for the Pope to make a stand loudly and clearly to the masses that listen to him and (in most facets) practice his faith.
Shame on him!
(Flame suit - ON!)
It wouldn’t have been the Pope that was doing it, though, but some hapless priest who has been under a wussy bishop for some time and would probably not be up to the job. It would not have surprised me in the least to see these pols create a scene and I honestly don’t think that would have been helpful at that moment.
If the bishops had come out and said in advance that these people were not supposed to go, it would have been okay; let them try to create a scene, they’d been warned and they’d done it anyway, etc. But these two bishops have consistently said nothing about the issue, to the point of pretending that it doesn’t exist. Even if the pols had been denied Communion on that one occasion at the pope’s request, I bet Egan and - particularly - Wuerl would already have come out and apologized to them and said it was just a misunderstanding. These men value the Dem party much more than they value Rome, and they’re much more afraid of it (since VatII considerably weakened the Pope’s powers of enforcement of Rome’s authority). The Pope’s challenge is to deal with these bishops - and not to appoint any more like them!
I totally agree! Now, WHY won't the POPE do just that - deal with them! Publicly and loudly. Stop the bleeding (no pun intended) of the Catholic faith and practices NOW! He will go to South America and make a pronouncement supporting the anti-abortion stance but come to America and be "politically correct". Being politically correct is not his job on this earth!
Not too tough a call here. The priest’s (or bishop’s) state of grace—or politics— has absolutely nothing to do with the valid administration of sacraments. Secondly, the pope, not his flock or parts of his flock, makes the decision on who’s in communion with the Church.
At least he went to the trouble of securing an annulment rather than a divorce (a la Kerry, Giuliani).
It’s not a question of the valid administration of the Sacraments. It’s a question of the sinful administration and reception of the Sacraments.
Any person with sufficient knowledge of the essential teaching of the Catholic Faith is entitled to make a judgment about who is in communion with the Church. I was not referring to a canonical or juridical judgment, just common sense. A Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, or atheist is entitled to make a judgment about whether a person is in communion with the Catholic Church, because the criteria are entirely public.