Skip to comments.UK bishop: Denying Communion to anti-life/family politicians is ‘an act of mercy’
Posted on 03/14/2014 4:20:11 PM PDT by BlatherNaut
PORTSMOUTH, England, March 13, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) When people are not in communion with the Catholic Church on such a central thing as the value of life of the unborn child and also in terms of the teachings of the church on marriage and family life they are voting in favor of same-sex marriage then they shouldnt be receiving Holy Communion, said Portsmouth Bishop Philip Egan in a wide-ranging on-camera interview with LifeSiteNews last week.
Bishop Egan explained that rather than a punitive measure, the denial of Holy Communion is always an act of mercy. It is done, he said, with the hope and prayer that that person can be wooed back into full communion with the Church.
Nobody is forced to be Catholic. Were called by Christ and Hes chosen us, its a free choice. We live under the word of God. Its not my truth, its Gods truth, he said.
One would hope that in that case it would encourage someone to come back to seek communion with the Lord with the truth and say Im sorry I got lost.
The difficulties faced by Catholics and other Christians in an increasingly secular and intolerant Britain are keenly felt. Bishop Egan has been outspoken in his defence of life and family, writing to the Prime Minister and speaking eloquently on the issues. He has himself experienced backlash both in terms of unpleasant correspondence and even a confrontation at the Cathedral.
For him, however, the duty to witness to the truth in love is not an option despite the persecutions that may come. Christians, he says, are bound to come into conflict with the secularized culture.
(Excerpt) Read more at lifesitenews.com ...
Paging Cardinal Dolan...
What hurts is that democrat party leaders who are Catholic, are the most covered with Catholic glory and pomp in America by their church.
“Paging Cardinal Dolan... and Cardinals Wuerl, McCarrick, Mahoney, O’Malley, et al”
The whos who of liberal bishops in America. Would love for
Cardinal Raymond Burke to be put over these characters. He would whip them into shape real fast.
But then you have the RINOs who are Catholic like Boehner and Ryan. They might as well be democrats.
I doubt that the republican Catholic leaders will get the glamour treatment by their church, that is reserved for the pro-abortion democrat leaders.
I don’t expect to see Rick Santorum treated as a church hero like a Ted Kennedy and the others, I don’t even know if he has taken communion at the Vatican or met with his pope.
Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion.
Several American bishops have made statements to the effect that a bishop must exercise "discretion" regarding whether to "impose the penalty" of Denial of Communion. Among them: Chaput, Dolan, and Wuerl.
All bishops who refuse to "impose the penalty" are participating in a lie. Namely: That Denial of Communion is a penalty.
Denial of Communion is NOT a penalty.
What is the import of this fact? It means that Denial of Communion is NOT OPTIONAL. It is MANDATED by Canon 915. No bishop, priest, or other minister of Communion is free to disobey Canon 915.
It needs to be emphasized that Canon 915 is NOT a canon that may be "applied" or "not applied," precisely because it is not a penal canon and Denial of Communion is not a penalty. Canon 915 can only be obeyed or disobeyed.
Canon 915 exists precisely because giving Communion to a person "obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin" is ALWAYS GRAVELY SINFUL. It is to give grave scandal, and it is to participate knowingly in a sacrilegious act.
Let that sink in. Always gravely sinful.
In terms more familiar to the laity: To give Communion knowingly and deliberately to ANYONE delineated in Canon 915 is ALWAYS a mortal sin.
Cardinal Donald Wuerl has been the most outspoken of those bishops who refuse to obey Canon 915, but all of them are on record as endorsing the commission of MORTAL SINS by their priests and other ministers of Communion. Cardinal Wuerl has punished those who have refused Communion in obedience to Canon 915.
This is something he has no right to do, of course. No bishop has the authority to command anyone to commit a mortal sin!
Moreover: the decision as to WHO fits the criteria of Canon 915 belongs TO THE PASTOR, not the bishop.
4. Bearing in mind the nature of the above-cited norm (cfr. n. 1), no ecclesiastical authority may dispense the minister of Holy Communion from this obligation in any case, nor may he emanate directives that contradict it.
Of course, Cardinal Wuerl and many other bishops have precisely emanated directives that contradict the norm of Canon 915.
To that end, they have emanated repeated Red Herrings. Here are some of Cardinal Wuerl's preposterous statements, made in these or very similar words:
That's not my style.
I follow a "Pastoral Approach" rather than a "Canonical Approach."
We need to find out if the canon was written for the purpose of bringing politicians to heel.
I will not deny Communion to anyone who has not been formally excommunicated.
But the divorced-and-illicitly-remarried are not excommunicated. Does anyone doubt that, were Cardinal Wuerl to direct all ministers of Communion in his jurisdiction to give Communion to the divorced-and-illicitly-remarried, Rome would take action within hours? But Canon 915 mentions no particular SPECIES of sin! That is, the KIND of sin in which a would-be communicant is publicly involved is of no account! In other words: Cardinal Wuerl's determination to give pro-abortion people Communion is precisely as outrageous and scandalous as would be a directive to give Communion to the divorced-and-illicitly-remarried.
There is no evidence that this massive scandal has attracted the attention of "Rome."
It is said by many, including Cardinal Wuerl, that Communion should not be used a a political weapon.
Absolutely true. And the reception of Communion IS being used as a political weapon--by pro-abortion politicians. As long as they are permitted to receive Communion, they can plausibly claim to be "ardent Catholics," whose promotion of abortion is NO SIN.
Abraham Lincoln is credited with the statements: You can fool all of the people some of the time. You can fool some of the people all of the time.
At the present time, Cardinal Wuerl and others appear to be relying on the truth of these observations. It appears that it has been left up to the laity to demonstrate the truth of Lincoln's further statement: But you can't fool all of the people all of the time.
"Rome" needs to hear a great noise from the laity.
WASHINGTON, DC, February 18, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The full transcript of LSN’s January 2010 conversation with Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley on denying Communion to pro-abortion politicians is as follows:
LSN: A number of Catholics are concerned about Catholics who are pro-abortion and in politics. Some have said the bishops have to deny them communion. But in your estimation, what is exactly is the appropriate pastoral response? How should Catholics understand this?
OMalley: Well I think that the only way that that solution should be invoked is if there were a large catechesis or if it was universal for the whole Church. You cant have people doing things in one parish and another, you would only divide the Church hopelessly.
[Although turning away at an aide’s urging to leave the Basilica, the Cardinal returned to clarify that he was concerned about how to deal with pro-abortion Catholic politicians from the very beginning. OMalley said he asked that question when John Paul II solicited input from bishops for the pro-life encyclical Evangelium Vitae.]
OMalley: ... I wrote to him [John Paul II] and asked him to please give us very clear direction on how to deal with politicians who will be pro-abortion and will be Catholic. We have not had the kind of clear response that we need.
LSN: Do you think something coming forth in Canon Law - would that be helpful?
OMalley: That would be helpful if they did it. But if it is not done to make it look like its an individual bishop sparring with the people of particular parties is only going to divide the Church in a very terrible way. Then youll have some priest who will obey and others who wont, other divisions of the Church, more scandal, and undermining the authority of the bishops.
LSN: So you think it needs a directive from the Pope or be made clear in Canon Law?
OMalley: Its the only way it is really going to work - this isnt the only country that has this problem.
From the article you linked:
“Under Benedict XVI, pressure on bishops to follow canon law and withhold Communion from Nancy Pelosi and company had been growing. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops had stalled on the issue for years, with Wuerls friend and predecessor, Theodore McCarrick, even going so far as to conceal a letter from Benedict (then Cardinal Ratzinger) telling the U.S. bishops that if a pro-abortion pol, with obstinate persistence, still presents himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, the minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it.
Something is not adding up here. Cardinal O’Malley claims canon law needs changing and cites JPII’s lack of clarity, yet BXVI directed him and his fellow bishops “to follow canon law and withhold Communion”. He says he is concerned that the authority of the bishops would be undermined without a uniform policy.
This smacks of the rankest hypcrisy. He ignores the authority of Pope Benedict and ignores canon law, yet is concerned about the authority of bishops such as himself being undermined if they refused communion to pro-aborts.
Because obedience to Canon 915 is OBLIGATORY, and because every act of disobedience to the canon is gravely sinful, NO “reason” given for disobedience is valid or honorable. Every ecclesiastical authority who speaks against obedience to it is promoting the commission of MORTAL SINS by his priests and other ministers of Communion.
Cardinals O’Malley, Dolan, and Wuerl, and Archbishop Chaput, and many, many other bishops, and the USCCB itself, are all on record as promoting the mortal sin of disobedience to Canon 915. Every reason they give, or could ever give, is specious and dishonest.
So far, there is no evidence that Pope Francis’s attention has been brought to bear on this scandal, which is eating the heart out of the Catholic Church in America and elsewhere.
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