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That Statement

  /   Sunday June 20, 2004  

If you’ve been reading the Catholic news, you will know that the USCCB has just met. The statement they made on Catholics in political life can be found here. At first, I thought it was a pretty good statement. In the end, however, it missed the mark. Let’s see what it does say:

1. It starts by saying that abortion is evil and can never be justified. It says that those who knowingly and willingly cooperate are guilty of grave sin and outside the life of the Church.

2. It goes on to say, and I quote “To make such intrinsically evil actions legal is itself wrong.” and “Those who formulate law therefore have an obligation in conscience to work toward correcting morally defective laws, lest they be guilty of cooperating in evil and in sinning against the common good.”

3. Near the end, it mentions the obligation to “examine their consciences” before receiving Communion, but it also states that this includes adherence to Church teachings in personal and public life.

So, what is wrong here?

1. It makes no mention of Canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law. I read this canon just before writing this, and it clearly says that those persisting in manifest grave sin “are not to be admitted to holy communion.” In other words, it doesn’t say that the bishop has the right to deny communion. Rather, it says that such people are not to be admitted. Someone who interrupts a campaign to fly to Washington D.C. to vote against the Unborn Victims of Violence Act certainly qualifies.

2. If politicians who support “abortion rights” have placed themselves outside the life of the Church, why are there “differing views” on whether or not they should be denied communion? This isn’t a new issue that is needing clarification. It has been persisting for decades with little action on the part of our bishops other than writing documents that are never enforced.

I do hope that the bishops realize that, with the writing of a document, they haven’t fulfilled their duty. Given that they have made resolutions, I will believe their sincerity when and only when I see follow up. So far, the only time I’ve seen any follow up is on the sexual abuse scandal, and we may well have the media and a few lawyers to thank for that.

Category: Posts imported from Danger! Falling Brainwaves, Uncategorized



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