Skip to comments.New San Fran Bishop: Sanctions against Pro-Abort Pols Makes Church Too 'Republican'
Posted on 07/07/2010 6:22:10 AM PDT by marshmallow
SAN FRANCISCO, July 6, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The newly-appointed auxiliary bishop of San Francisco has in the past criticized Catholic Church policy disallowing politicians who promote abortion from receiving Holy Communion, saying that such a move would make the Church appear too "partisan," "Republican" and "coercive."
Msgr. Robert McElroy made the statements in a 2005 column for America magazine, in which he criticized Newark Archbishop John Myers for maintaining the policy against public figures who promote the murder of unborn children. Canon 915 of the Church's Code of Canon Law states that "those who have been excommunicated ... and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion."
The Vatican on Tuesday appointed McElroy to the San Francisco diocese, where he currently serves as a priest.
In his column, McElroy began by noting that "the theological starting point for those who advocate eucharistic sanctions is a sound one," inasmuch as the support of Catholic leaders for "abortion rights" represents a scandal and "a major failure in church life." However, he went on to call the notion that Catholics who vote in favor of the legalized killing of the unborn have excommunicated themselves "a novel and open-ended theory," citing Archbishop Myers' statement that such figures are "not objectively in communion with Christ and His Church."
McElroy objected that the notion of automatic excommunication "casts aside all the limitations and admonitions to pastoral solicitude that the church has traditionally demanded" in such cases. Citing the Church's traditionally prudential handling of scandal, the monsignor claimed that the benefits of denying Communion are "heavily outweighed" by other considerations, such as that the move would be "perceived by Americans ... as coercive" and make abortion appear to be a "sectarian Catholic issue."
"The imposition of eucharistic sanctions solely on candidates who support abortion legislation will inevitably transform the church in the United States, in the minds of many, into a partisan, Republican-oriented institution," he wrote.
"It does not matter that eucharistic sanctions would be fully within the legitimate moral and civil rights of the church to adopt, and that those who have attacked them as a violation of the separation of church and state are totally in error in their understanding of the constitutional tradition of the United States," wrote McElroy. "What does matter enormously is that Americans will in general recoil from the use of the Eucharist as a political weapon, and will reassess their overall opinion of the churchs role in the political order."
One prominent bishop in a nearby diocese, however, disagrees with McElroy that the pros outweigh the cons.
Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix, one of the most outspokenly pro-life bishops in the U.S., wrote last month that failing to call pro-abortion Catholic politicians to account when they profess to reconcile their views on abortion with their Catholic faith "inevitably leads to more evil acts in the future."
While the bishop did not mention communion in his latest column, in the past Olmsted has made clear that pro-abort Catholics should not receive, and should even be denied communion. In a booklet released in 2006, the bishop wrote that such politicians cannot receive Holy Communion without previously making a good confession.
In 2005 the Phoenix bishop made himself even clearer, telling IgnatiusInsight: "So anyone who has had an abortion, or has participated in one, or euthanasia, or who would be promoting those things, or have failed to protect human life while in a position where they could protect it such as a politician or a judge they should not be receiving Communion. If they persisted in it after [Church teaching] was presented to them, then I think the priest or deacon should not give them Communion in that case."
"Evil acts, in themselves, are the greatest source of scandal," wrote the bishop in last months column on scandal. "When the perpetrators are not called to account, then they are emboldened to do even worse deeds."
"Since some scandals are more grievous than others, remaining silent about the scandal given by those with greater influence in the Church or society has far more toxic effects than silence about other scandals," he noted.
Whether or not such a sanction is viewed as cruel or coercive, said Olmsted, such correction "is not an act of presumed superiority" but is "an act of fraternal love that desires our brother see and admit his mistake, to repent and find new life in the rich mercy of God."
Olmsted's opinion is backed by strong and repeated admonitions from Archbishop Raymond Burke, head of the Apostolic Signatura, the Catholic Church's highest court. Burke has confirmed that bishops have "no choice" but to deny Communion to publicly pro-abortion Catholics.
” ... The Vatican on Tuesday appointed McElroy to the San Francisco diocese, where he currently serves as a priest. ... “
This is truly troubling. Complain to the Vatican. Pray for the Church.
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Is it true to say that most of the Bishops such as Cardinal Mahoney are more loyal to the Democratic party than the Magisterium of the Catholic Church?
Wouldn’t coddling illegals make the church too “Azatlan”?
That certainly seems to be true for some bishops. I’m not sure what percentage.
Msgr. Robert McElroy must believe it's impossible for the Church to appear too "Democrat".
I think the Democratic Party platform would get more support from the Bishops than taking strong action against pro -abortion Catholic politicians.
Well, your excellency ... how about the fact that you're aiding in these people committing a sacrilege by receiving while in a state of mortal sin?
This one apparently didn't learn much while in seminary.
What makes me think that Levada and Mahony are behind this?
Apparently. OTOH, his statement is a (perhaps unwitting) condemnation of the democRat Party. He's as much as admitting that most or all of the pro-death "catholic" politicians are also democRats.
Denying Sacraments to politicians would send a message to others that the Church is not a democratic fraternity that just anyone can join and violate the rules. The reason Christians are against abortion is we believe all life comes from God and He is sovereign over it. We don't have the right to overrule His Will in the matter. The baby is a life that has been given to the mother and father by God and we will be judged by what we do to the child until God takes him/her back to Himself. The mother is mistaken to believe that she can do as she wishes because the child "belongs" to her. The Bible tells us that when we get to heaven we will recognize our loved ones, but that we will be there to worship Jesus and Him alone. Our wives and family will be there to do the same and we will no longer be married to them, but married to Jesus. God provides us with life and can do as He wishes with what belongs to Him. We don't have the right to murder His creation.
A politician or judge could uphold the laws of God or man made law, but by defying God's Laws, he/she has lost His rights before God to represent Him by name. A wife takes her husbands last name and leaves her maiden name when she marries, so who would want to claim a wife that defies their husband and dishonors his name? If you can't obey your husband, then there should be a divorce. If you can't follow Christ openly, they why keep His name? A politician wouldn't run for office saying they are Catholic and then say they hate God and all His stupid rules and be able to be elected, but it seems that someone can say they are Catholic, appear on TV with ashes on their foreheads, and then trash God's instructions to His people and still be considered a Catholic. That has nothing to do with being Dem or Repub, but being in rebellion to God.
This isn't about what the pope says or a Bishop says, but about what God says He requires of us to follow Him. It's the same with gay marriage and other hot topics that are circulating today. If we can't agree with what God has set up for His Kingdom, then why not be a Muslim or Buddhist or some other subject of a foreign kingdom that you could agree with? The only religion I know of that murders baby's is pagan anyway. There are many people in other religions that would disagree with me, but really, they are in disagreement with God. Infidelity with the Church is nothing new, but ignoring punishment is fairly new. If someone wants to divorce Jesus, then by all means, go fornicate with someone else. Jesus won't take a harlot for a wife anyway.
McElroy has forgotten he is to obey Jesus Christ and His Church...
Not his Leftist buddies that think compassion comes from government.
“...the road to hell is paved...”
The church making a statement and then following up on it censoring anyone who violates it’s basic tenant is not political, even if some of those censored happen to be liberal politicians.
This priest is the one politicizing the issue by making such a ridiculous statement trying to defend the liberal anti-life position those pols who try and call themselves Catholic have taken.
The Vatican, sooner or later, will have to take action against some of the very liberal, actually anti-catholic individuals who have infiltrated the ranks of the priesthood and are acting against the church from within.
The catholic church, like our own government has been infiltrated. The sappers are under the wire and deep within the perimeter. In our government, they are in fact not only inside, but they are running the command post.
That’s why on July 4th I put the following on my http://www.jeffhead.com site where it will remain until Obama is out of office:
“Barack Hussein Obama, hear us, loyal Americans whose bloodlines run deep in this land, back to the founding & beyond, who have watered the ground of this nation & foreign soils to maintain our liberty & constitution: Molon Labe-Sic Semper Tyranus-De Oppresso Liber. Your Marxism shall not stand in this land, so help us God!” - Jeff Head, July 3, 2010
If we're counting auxilary bishops, I'd guess at least two-thirds who don't see a conflict between the two.
I don't really know what I will do if the Church continues to do what it is doing, but something has to change, and soon. Marching around in robes and pretending everything is fine while the parishioners are in open rebellion won't make "it" go away. Members of the Church of Corinth were proud that they were tolerant of the sexual sin of one of their members. but Paul told them to confront him and if that didn't work, throw him out. The Bible has the wisdom of God in it's pages, so why is it so difficult to follow what He has set out for His people? It's not really up to a Bishop somewhere to decide who is "too Republican", but to follow the Word of God and leave earthly things to condemned people.
We should expect Cardinal Re’s parting gifts to continue to fall over the next few months, before Cardinal Ouellet gets to take firm control over the Congregation for Bishops.
I think the guy got the wrong Church. The Episcopal cathedral is up on Nob Hill. That’s where he belongs.
“Is it true to say that most of the Bishops such as Cardinal Mahoney are more loyal to the Democratic party than the Magisterium of the Catholic Church?”
It would be true to say they are more loyal to communism, which is to say, loyal to Satan, than they are to the Church.
These days people like to think of the “political spectrum” as eminating right and left from some ideal “center.”
The political spectrum runs from Satan on the left to God on the right. Being “in the center” just means that a person is a lot further from God than he should be.