Withholding Communion From Dissident Catholic Public Officials


#1

There is apparently a great deal of disagreement among our Bishops on whether to ask Catholic public officials who openly support abortion to refrain from presenting themselves for Communion

Cardinal Raymond Burke is one of the strongest advocates for denying Communion, while I was surprised to recently learn that Cardinal Dolan does not agree with this position

While I understand that our Bishops have dedicated their lives to bringing the Sacraments to the faithful, not withholding them, aren’t there 3 fundamental considerations that would support denying Communion to publicly dissenting Catholics?

1) Protection of the dignity of the Sacrament. This is the Body and Blood Of Jesus we are talking about. We were in told in Catholic grade school that taking Communion while in a state of mortal sin is a sacrilege against Our Lord

Article 2272 of the Catechism states "Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life"

There is no ambiguity here, no "choice". A frightened teenage girl procuring an abortion, and any Catholic facilitating that abortion, are automatically excommunicated - cut off from the Church, the sacraments and salvation. How much less of a sin can enabling and supporting the abortions of more than 1 million children a year be?

2) As above, withholding the Eucharist would seem to protect the sinner from committing sacrilege

3) Preventing the scandalizing of the faithful. Catholic politicians such as Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden have publicly and repeatedly not only dissented with the Church’s teaching on life, but have distorted those teachings in order to mislead other Catholics

Is it not our Bishops' duty to protect the faithful from this type of scandal?

Personally I feel that to some degree the Church in America has only itself to blame for the extent to which Catholics feel free to disregard the Vatican’s edicts on the sanctity of human life

God often chastises us harshly, but out of love. Throughout history, the Church has had to occasionally do the same, for the overall good of all Catholics. Had America’s Bishops set a few harsh examples year ago, we might not have come this point

Don’t get me wrong. We do not want to lose any dissident Catholic. I do pray for them. But letting them continue unchallenged and unchastised would seem to be literally endangering their souls and the unity of the Church

I would appreciate some opinions


#2

What are we to do? The bishops rule. Cardinal Burke has his opinion. Apparently none of the popes since 1965 have agreed with Cardinal Burke's opinion.

You and I may agree with Cardinal Burke. But the Holy Spirit has not seen fit to put Raymond Burke into the Chair of Peter.

I have heard our current pope say that we are seriously obliged to loyal to and supportive to the bishop of our diocese, and to the college of bishops as a whole.

So, why don't we assume that the Holy Spirit is working and speaking through our U.S. bishops? If we don't assume that, are we even Catholic?

We always act and speak as if our U.S. bishops are failing us, as if they are thwarting the Holy Spirit, as if they are opposing the ministry of the pope, as if they are liberals? Why always be in an oppositional and adversarial stance regarding our U.S. bishops? Where does this get us? The Catholic Church is not a democracy, at least it isn't with regard to us lay people.

When we criticize our U.S. bishops for being lax, we are really criticizing the pope too, since he has full power to correct and, if necessary, each and every one of the U.S. bishops.

I respectfully submit that the antagonism of many "conservative" Catholics towards most or many of the U.S. bishops is not good for anyone.

To me, it does no good to rally around Cardinal Burke or Bishop Bruskewitz, and act like most of the rest of the U.S. bishops are enemies of the Faith.


#3

Yet..... One must speak up if one sees abuse....


#4

This is tough for me, because I do believe that if you have made a commitment to the Church the you have a responsibility to honor that commitment and follow Her teachings.

However, a politician does not only govern those of his own faith. His/her constituents come from many backgrounds, and many have not made a commitment to the Catholic faith. How can a politician force those who have not made a commitment to the Church to follow Church laws?

When I think about this, I think about a politician who is committed to a faith that differs from mine. Would I want that person making laws for me to obey that are based on their particular religious beliefs?


#5

Whoa Bartolome, no one is calling for antagonism towards the Bishops, but unlike our Holy Father they are fallible. What I am saying here is that since Roe v Wade became law, the USCCB has clearly been sending mixed signals on abortion. This has not been good for the Church in America as evidenced by number of Catholics who feel free to thumb their noses at the Vatican on abortion

The primary question, however, was allowing Catholic public officials who enable and support, in some cases boastfully, “the grave offense” (Catechism # 2272) of abortion in our country to receive the Holy Eucharist

I believe that the three points I cited make a reasonable basis for denying Communion - not only for the dignity of the Sacrament and the good of the Church, but also for the long term good of the public official being so chastised


#6

[quote="Seeker1961, post:4, topic:287092"]
This is tough for me, because I do believe that if you have made a commitment to the Church the you have a responsibility to honor that commitment and follow Her teachings.

However, a politician does not only govern those of his own faith. His/her constituents come from many backgrounds, and many have not made a commitment to the Catholic faith. How can a politician force those who have not made a commitment to the Church to follow Church laws?

When I think about this, I think about a politician who is committed to a faith that differs from mine. Would I want that person making laws for me to obey that are based on their particular religious beliefs?

[/quote]

Seeker, I understand the concept, but I do not see how it can be applied to the insidious evil of abortion

“I am personally opposed to abortion, but I cannot allow my personal beliefs to influence my decisions” is the most common (and transparent) cop-out of self-styled pro-choice Catholic politicians. It is akin to the I was just following orders defense offered by many Germans who participated in the holocaust

The most successful ruse perpetrated by these politicians has been to frame abortion as a political issue in order to equate the brutal inhumanity of taking of a baby’s life with mundane subjects like taxes and spending. There is just no comparison, certainly not in the eyes of God and the Church

Again, should the pro-choice Catholic politicians, who help to enable and support the dismemberment, decapitation and poisoning of 3,500 innocent baby girls and boys each day in America’s abortion clinics, be allowed to receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist?

The conclusion I have arrived at is obvious, and while I do not expect to influence Church policy with a forum post, I am really interested in how the average, faithful to the Magisterium, Catholic feels about this issue


#7

[quote="Bartolome_Casas, post:2, topic:287092"]

When we criticize our U.S. bishops for being lax, we are really criticizing the pope too, since he has full power to correct and, if necessary, each and every one of the U.S. bishops.

[/quote]

I disagree that speaking out against certain dissident bishops is akin to speaking out against our Holy Father. I think Pope Benedict has done a fantastic job bringing forward many worthy Cardinals and helping the traditional elements within the Catholic church to re-establish themselves. In fact, I think many of the dissident bishops and liberal Catholic agencies that people on these forums are speaking out against are the very same thing that our pope is fighting to eliminate right now!


#8

[quote="Jerry111, post:5, topic:287092"]
Whoa Bartolome, no one is calling for antagonism towards the Bishops, but unlike our Holy Father they are fallible. What I am saying here is that since Roe v Wade became law, the USCCB has clearly been sending mixed signals on abortion. This has not been good for the Church in America as evidenced by number of Catholics who feel free to thumb their noses at the Vatican on abortion

The primary question, however, was allowing Catholic public officials who enable and support, in some cases boastfully, “the grave offense” (Catechism # 2272) of abortion in our country to receive the Holy Eucharist

I believe that the three points I cited make a reasonable basis for denying Communion - not only for the dignity of the Sacrament and the good of the Church, but also for the long term good of the public official being so chastised

[/quote]

It's all really the responsibility of the bishop and not the laity to be involved in policing the communion line. Would that more bishops would actively take a public stand against wrong-headed politicians, but in the meantime I'm not going to be looking for scandal.


#9

[quote="Seeker1961, post:4, topic:287092"]
This is tough for me, because I do believe that if you have made a commitment to the Church the you have a responsibility to honor that commitment and follow Her teachings.

However, a politician does not only govern those of his own faith. His/her constituents come from many backgrounds, and many have not made a commitment to the Catholic faith. How can a politician force those who have not made a commitment to the Church to follow Church laws?

When I think about this, I think about a politician who is committed to a faith that differs from mine. Would I want that person making laws for me to obey that are based on their particular religious beliefs?

[/quote]

First of all, abortion is simply wrong. If the issue were working on Sundays, or the necessity of going to Mass, that would be different. But this is a matter of something which is totally wrong, even atheists can see that it is wrong.

Secondly, is the politician to be *only *a stand-in for the people he represents, or is he supposed to do a job, which is deciding what is best for those he represents *and *for the broader area in which he is working?

The people he represents may have a short-term view, or they may have a view which would not be good for the entire state or nation. But the politician must consider the good more than he considers those he represents.

In addition, the politician needs to communicate with his constituents. He needs to explain why he is doing what he does. I admit that most politicians fall down on this aspect of their jobs, but it is a part of it.

If a candidate is open about his or her positions on the various issues, and is elected, then the candidate should act in accord with the positions he mentioned. A Catholic politician should be clear and say, I see that abortion is the taking of a human life, I believe this is shown through science, I don't think you voters are the types of people who really want murder being committed legally in this country, so I will be pro-life in my votes.

If the people don't like that, they don't have to vote for him. But he should not allow himself to be voted in on the lives of the unborn, which is what these abortion-supporting politicians are doing. These are *evil *acts, more corrupt than taking bribes or buying stocks on inside knowledge. The latter involve only money, the former involves the most vulnerable of human lives.

Some of these politicians are very open about their being Catholic. They use their (alleged) Faith to get elected, and then they vote against their Faith. Some of them even claim that the Catholic Faith *supports *their abortion advocacy!

This is not a matter of the Church trying to control politicians, but of the Church discerning who is or is not a member in good standing of the Church.


#10

[quote="MidnightSun12, post:7, topic:287092"]
I disagree that speaking out against certain dissident bishops is akin to speaking out against our Holy Father. I think Pope Benedict has done a fantastic job bringing forward many worthy Cardinals and helping the traditional elements within the Catholic church to re-establish themselves. In fact, I think many of the dissident bishops and liberal Catholic agencies that people on these forums are speaking out against are the very same thing that our pope is fighting to eliminate right now!

[/quote]

Exactly, and this is quite evident with the elevation of conservative Bishops to Cardinal over the last few years and the promotion of Cardinal Raymond Burke, who favors denying Communion to dissident Catholic politicians, to Rome


#11

All to be well in good time perhaps....

However the urgency is indeed, urgent.

That is to say.... the indications do indeed indicate that which the indications do indicate.:cool:

Certainly it is times like these that I would give my right arm to be ambidexterous.


#12

[quote="Bartolome_Casas, post:2, topic:287092"]
What are we to do? The bishops rule. Cardinal Burke has his opinion. Apparently none of the popes since 1965 have agreed with Cardinal Burke's opinion.

You and I may agree with Cardinal Burke. But the Holy Spirit has not seen fit to put Raymond Burke into the Chair of Peter.

I have heard our current pope say that we are seriously obliged to loyal to and supportive to the bishop of our diocese, and to the college of bishops as a whole.

[/quote]

And the way we do that is to pray for them and support when when they are doing the right thing.

But we have a right to shepherds *shepherding *us. If they are not doing a good job, we should also let that be known, but we have to be *very *sure that there is a problem.

So, why don't we assume that the Holy Spirit is working and speaking through our U.S. bishops? If we don't assume that, are we even Catholic?

The Holy Spirit speaks through the Pope on matters of faith and morals, not necessarily through the bishops.

We always act and speak as if our U.S. bishops are failing us, as if they are thwarting the Holy Spirit, as if they are opposing the ministry of the pope, as if they are liberals? Why always be in an oppositional and adversarial stance regarding our U.S. bishops? Where does this get us? The Catholic Church is not a democracy, at least it isn't with regard to us lay people.

When a bishop does something wrong, or does not address a problem, then what are we to do?

When we criticize our U.S. bishops for being lax, we are really criticizing the pope too, since he has full power to correct and, if necessary, each and every one of the U.S. bishops.

The power of the Pope to do something about a bishop is really very limited. If he "fires" a bishop in another country, what will the Pope do if the bishop refuses to leave? The way ownership is set in the US, there is *nothing *that could be done.

I respectfully submit that the antagonism of many "conservative" Catholics towards most or many of the U.S. bishops is not good for anyone.

To me, it does no good to rally around Cardinal Burke or Bishop Bruskewitz, and act like most of the rest of the U.S. bishops are enemies of the Faith.

Some of the bishops actually have acted like they are enemies of the Church. Many here are old enough to have seen this... We want to see *defense *of the Faith; we want *leadership *in our defense of the Faith. What good does it do if I convince my friends that the Church teaches that homosexual activity is wrong if the bishop then receives people wearing the rainbow sash? What good does it do if I explian a public excommunication for abortion if a bishop then says it was wrong to do that, and maybe the abortion was "justified"?


#13

This subject is a great concern to myself..... as a voter. I have written to the candidates in my state.

I ask, how, I as a voter, can possibly trust anything they say in their campaign, if they are so willing to advertise their Catholic Faith, while publicly denying God's authorship of Life?

I explain to them that intergrity is the most important part of evaluating a candidate for office. I also explain that as a Catechist I teach how important it is to honor The Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Most Blessed Sacrament. I use these specific words in hope that it will wake them up to the reality of what they are doing to their own souls.

Generally I close with explaining that I would rather write in a Candidate, then to allow myself to vote for someone who is so obviously a hypocrit. I describe that I am in fact the daughter, niece, and family friend of some of the most respected politicians of the 20th Century. It is my hope and prayer that reminding them of these politicians, that they will realize not all successful politicians had to sell their souls for public office.

I have received replies that have been disappointing, and some that have been very hopeful. However, regardless of their reply, I always tell them I will keep them deep in my daily devotions, that when and if they actually win, they will respond in accordance with what God wants, for our eternity is indeed determined by how we respond to doing what He has required of us.

I am but a mere servant of God, and though I too wish that more Bishops took the stand of Cardinal Burke, and Bishop Bruskewitz, all I can do is pray, and pray always.

The last comment I would like to make, is that I weep often for the heart break of Our King of Kings, Our Lord Jesus, for in my own sinfullness I know I inflict pain upon His Merciful Heart, and that realization seems so much more when public figures try so hard to justify twisting His Church Teachings to fit their own destructive agenda. Oh how He must weep heavy tears of sorrow in these times.


#14

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