Bishop Untener


I was a little shocked when I received Karl’s May 11, 2004 e-letter regarding Bishop Untener. My parish has distributed “Little Black Books”, “Little Purple Books” and “Little Blue Books” published by Bishop Untener and the Diocese of Saginaw. These books contains scripture reflections for the daily reading during the Advent, Christmas and Lenten seasons. I have gotten a lot out of these books. Also on the weekend following the Bishop’s death our priest commented on his life and priesthood in a very favorable light. Then I discovered a link on our Parish website to comments from Cardinal Roger Mahony regarding Communion and Pro-abort politicians. Cardinal Mahony essential says that it’s the politician (and each individual’s) decision whether or not to receive the Eucharist and not individual priests and bishops. I’ve always has the utmost respect for my priest and he had been a tremendous force in my spiritual growth the past 2 years.

I listen to Catholic Answers Live just about everyday and consider myself very Orthodox, although I am relatively new to the faith. Can you recommend a way for me to quitely big a little deeper into my priest’s beliefs and/or how to bring up the topic of Bishop Untener without directly criticizing his priesthood?


You are referring to Karl’s e-letter that can be read by others, who may have missed it, here:

You ask, “Can you recommend a way for me to quitely dig a little deeper into my priest’s beliefs and/or how to bring up the topic of Bishop Untener without directly criticizing his priesthood?”

I found the best approach is to remove yourself from the middle of hot topics and let the person with whom you are discussing the faith interact with authentic Church documents. For example, regarding pro-abortion politicians receiving the Eucharist, you might present him with a few Church documents and ask him how he reconciles the Church’s clear teaching with the attitude of those who permit politicians to the Eucharist who know Church teaching and are openly against Church teaching in this area and are even active in promoting this grave evil:

Ecclesia de Eucharista:
". . . However, in cases of outward conduct which is seriously, clearly and steadfastly contrary to the moral norm, the Church, in her pastoral concern for the good order of the community and out of respect for the sacrament, cannot fail to feel directly involved. The* Code of Canon Law* refers to this situation of a manifest lack of proper moral disposition when it states that those who “obstinately persist in manifest grave sin” are not to be admitted to Eucharistic communion" (#37).

Code of Canon Law
"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" (Can. 915 ).

“A person who procures a completed abortion incurs a latae sententiae excommunication” 9Can. 1398).

Catechism of the Catholic Church:
"Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. "A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae,"76 "by the very commission of the offense,“77 and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law.78 The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society” (2272 ).

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