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Communion politics issue boils up, after U.S. papal visit
Faith World ^ | April 29, 2008 | Michael Conlon

Posted on 04/30/2008 6:07:53 AM PDT by NYer

Papal Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, 19 April 2008/Shannon StapletonA papal visit, with its weeks of build-up and intense media coverage, often seems to end with an afterglow — but very little news — once the pope and his party fly back to the Eternal City. Not so with Pope Benedict’s recent U.S. visit where, more than a week after it ended, the volatile issue of public figures, the abortion & Communion issue is making headlines.

While journalists reported that prominent Catholic politicians who support abortion rights stepped up to receive the Eucharist during Masses in Washington and New York (here’s our story and blog post), the development was little more than a footnote in the wave of coverage that washed over the visit. It was notable, however, in view of a controversy that began in 2004 when some U.S. bishops said they would deny Communion to John Kerry, then the Democratic presidential nominee, because he supported abortion rights

But during the U.S. papal Masses, not only did Kerry receive Communion but so did House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, former New York Mayor Rudi Giuliani and Senators Edward Kennedy and Christopher Dodd. The conservative columnist Robert Novak wrote in the Washington Post on Monday that this “reflected disobedience to Benedict by the archbishops of New York and Washington” and did not indicate any softening of the pope’s anti-abortion position.

Nancy Pelosi kisses Pope Benedict’s ring as President George Bush and Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, 16 April/Larry Downing“The effect was to dull messages of faith, obligation and compassion conveyed by Benedict,” Novak wrote. “In his Yankee Stadium homily, he talked of ‘authority’ and ‘obedience’ — acknowledging these are not easy words to speak nowadays. They surely are not for four former presidential candidates and two princes of the church, represending Catholics who defy heir faith’s doctrine on abortion.”

On the day Novak’s column appeared, one of those two princes — New York’s Cardinal Edward Egan — posted a statement on the archdiocese website saying Giuliani had violated an “understanding” he had with him not to receive Communion because of his views on abortion rights and that he — the cardinal — deeply regretted it had happened. What Egan did not mention is that Giuliani has also been married three times — his first marriage was annulled but the second ended in divorce, which should bar him from the sacrament according to church law. Some bloggers have criticised him for this and Beliefnet’s David Gibson wondered if he ignored the divorce issue because so many Catholics are getting divorced these days but remain faithful and want to take Communion.

Cardinal Egan greets Pope Benedict at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, 19 April 2008/poolIn reply, Giuliani’s spokeswoman said he is willing to meet with Egan but that his faith “is a deeply personal matter and should remain confidential.”

None of the public figures involved received Communion directly from the pope, but from other clergy as the Masses. But before becoming Pope, the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was reported as saying he backed denying communion to Kerry. His statement was more nuanced than that, but it has been presented in the U.S. (mostly by conservative bishops) as a refusal.

The issue of public figures and the sacrament has not surfaced in this year’s presidential nomination derby, probably because none of the remaining candidates is Catholic. But it simmers still in some places, notably St. Louis, where Archbishop Raymond Burke has raised it in various ways. When he headed a Wisconsin diocese before taking the St. Louis post, Burke said Communion should be denied some state lawmakers there who supported abortion rights. More recently he suggested Communion might be denied to basketball coach Rick Majerus at St. Louis University — a Catholic institution — who attended a rally for Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton and said he was “personally” pro-choice.

Should Giuliani not have come forward for Communion? Or are he and the cardinal making a political football out of this? And why do you think Egan avoided the divorce issue?

TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Moral Issues; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: egan; giuliani; kerry; pelosi

1 posted on 04/30/2008 6:07:55 AM PDT by NYer
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To: Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; nickcarraway; Romulus; ...
Again, for visitors to this thread, here is an explanation of the Canon Law that has been violated by these politicians.

A Primer on Canon 915

2 posted on 04/30/2008 6:10:43 AM PDT by NYer (Jesus whom I know as my Redeemer cannot be less than God. - St. Athanasius)
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To: NYer

Why has someone of Giulianis stature not gotten an annullment yet for his second marriage?

3 posted on 04/30/2008 6:16:54 AM PDT by nkycincinnatikid
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To: NYer
The reason that the cardinal went after Rudy on the abortion issue rather than the marriage issue is simple.

When a person presents himself to receive, the priest does not really know the status of his marital situation. Rudy could have gone to confession, repented of his adulterous relationship, and firmly resolved to live chastely with his third wife until they could get his second marriage annulled.

I'm not saying it's likely, but it's possible.

On the other hand, his position in favor of abortion is public and scandalous, and before he can purge himself of that mortal sin he must publicly renounce his prior position.

So it's much easier to establish that ground for barring him from communion, than the other.

4 posted on 04/30/2008 6:18:00 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of Ye Chase, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: nkycincinnatikid
Couple of alternatives:

1. The very public and scandalous circumstances surrounding the end of his second marriage, including attempting to install his mistress in Gracie Mansion. That makes him the guilty party in a very public way. Guilty parties ordinarily can't get an annulment. Even the most complaisant tribunal is going to have a problem with that.

2. 'Cause he doesn't really believe any of this stuff. It's just political cover.

I hope for the sake of his immortal soul that it's No. 1 and not No. 2.

5 posted on 04/30/2008 6:21:22 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of Ye Chase, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: nkycincinnatikid

Stature has nothing to do with it.

Annulment is a declaration by the Church that no sacramental marriage ever existed.

A declaration of sacramental nullity has no effect on the existence of a civil marriage, so before you ask, “no”, the children are not illegitimate.

Annulments are lengthy and expensive legal proceedings that demand “due procees”. The Church presumes that any marriage is VALID, and the lack of validity must be proven by the person seeking the annulment.

As with many things in life, money and connections can speed things along.

6 posted on 04/30/2008 6:24:48 AM PDT by Notwithstanding ("You are either with America in our time of need or you are not" - Hillary from Senate well 9/12/01)
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To: NYer
Heres what then cardinal Ratzinger stated:

5. Regarding the grave sin of abortion or euthanasia, when a person’s formal cooperation becomes manifest (understood, in the case of a Catholic politician, as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws), his Pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the Church’s teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist.

It does not appear to be nuanced at all. You can read his entire statement here:

7 posted on 04/30/2008 6:28:03 AM PDT by rwlawrence
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To: NYer
In reply, Giuliani’s spokeswoman said he is willing to meet with Egan but that his faith “is a deeply personal matter and should remain confidential.”

But, Rudy, you just made your "deeply personal matter" very public by taking Communion at the Pope's Mass.

I am tired of all of you politicians hiding behind those words "personal matter," and then publicaly sinning against the laws of the Church. You guys and gals, Nancy, want it both ways. You want to say you are Catholic, but not practice as a Catholic. Could it be that votes are more important to you than your soul? Well, you might be able to slide past your Priest, Bishop, Cardinal, even the Pope. But you won't slide past God into his domain. He won't elect you!

8 posted on 04/30/2008 6:50:14 AM PDT by CitizenM ("An excuse is worse than an lie, because an excuse is a lie hidden." Pope John Paul, II)
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To: nkycincinnatikid
Giuliani's marriage to Hanover was valid. It can't be annulled. Which means if he wants to remain a Catholic he needs to spend the rest of his life single and chaste. People like Giuliani let their libido, not their conscience or the truth, and their inability to control same dictate how they live their life.

TITLE VII: MARRIAGE (Cann. 1055 - 1165)

Can. 1055 §1 The marriage covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of their whole life, and which of its own very nature is ordered to the well-being of the spouses and to the procreation and upbringing of children, has, between the baptised, been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.

§2 Consequently, a valid marriage contract cannot exist between baptised persons without its being by that very fact a sacrament.

Can. 1056 The essential properties of marriage are unity and indissolubility; in christian marriage they acquire a distinctive firmness by reason of the sacrament.

Can. 1057 §1 A marriage is brought into being by the lawfully manifested consent of persons who are legally capable. This consent cannot be supplied by any human power.

§2 Matrimonial consent is an act of will by which a man and a woman by an irrevocable covenant mutually give and accept one another for the purpose of establishing a marriage.

Can. 1058 All can contract marriage who are not prohibited by law.

Can. 1059 The marriage of catholics, even if only one party is baptised, is governed not only by divine law but also by canon law, without prejudice to the competence of the civil authority in respect of the merely civil effects of the marriage.

Can. 1060 Marriage enjoys the favour of law. Consequently, in doubt the validity of a marriage must be upheld until the contrary is proven.

Can. 1061 §1 A valid marriage between baptised persons is said to be merely ratified, if it is not consummated; ratified and consummated, if the spouses have in a human manner engaged together in a conjugal act in itself apt for the generation of offspring. To this act marriage is by its nature ordered and by it the spouses become one flesh.

§2 If the spouses have lived together after the celebration of their marriage, consummation is presumed until the contrary is proven.

§3 An invalid marriage is said to be putative if it has been celebrated in good faith by at least one party. It ceases to be such when both parties become certain of its nullity.

Can. 1062 §1 A promise of marriage, whether unilateral or bilateral, called an engagement, is governed by the particular law which the Episcopal Conference has enacted, after consideration of such customs and civil laws as may exist.

§2 No right of action to request the celebration of marriage arises from a promise of marriage, but there does arise an action for such reparation of damages as may be due.

9 posted on 04/30/2008 7:55:53 AM PDT by A.A. Cunningham
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To: NYer

‘In reply, Giuliani’s spokeswoman said he is willing to meet with Egan but that his faith “is a deeply personal matter and should remain confidential.” ‘

Giuliani’s faith is on an apparent “need to know” basis. Apparently, Giuliani doesn’t have the “need to know” it either.

10 posted on 04/30/2008 8:12:01 AM PDT by Miles the Slasher
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To: NYer
Should Giuliani not have come forward for Communion? Or are he and the cardinal making a political football out of this?

No and no. He should not have come forward for Communion and don't anyone be doubtful here, Guiliani knows better. How is the Cardinal making this political? He is in the business of trying to save Guiliani's soul which has nothing to do with politics. It is Guiliani's "choice" to support the murder of unborn children, a choice he will have to answer for.

11 posted on 04/30/2008 8:39:51 AM PDT by Gerish (Feed your faith and your doubts will starve to death.)
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To: NYer

Thank you for the link!

12 posted on 04/30/2008 10:41:14 AM PDT by fetal heart beats by 21st day (Defending human life is not a federalist issue. It is the business of all of humanity.)
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