Why Doesn’t The Church Bar Pro-Abortion Politicians From Communion?

by Jimmy Akin

in Canon Law

This is a GREAT question!

The way the law is written, it would seem to do so–at least in normal circumstances–since any perservering in manifest grave sin are to be denied Communion, and typical politicians who are pro-abort would seem to be persevering in manifest grave sin.

I’d be up for barring the whole lot of them.

But one should recognize the consequences of doing so, and these consequences may not always be good, depending on the circumstances. Consider this case:

In 1989, the Bishop [Maher of San Diego] barred a California Assemblywoman, Lucy Killea, from taking Communion because she supported the right to abortion. He told her that her views amounted to "a grave scandal against the Church."

The action drew nationwide attention to a bid by Mrs. Killea for a seat in the State Senate. It also created voter sympathy for Mrs. Killea, a Democrat, who won the seat in a heavily Republican district.

It’s an interesting question: "What do you place first? Your native pro-life instincts or possible longer-term harm to innocent life?"

I know what my instincts say . . . but longer-term questions also have to be asked. . . . And this kind of calculus may be part of why some bishops don’t take a more confrontational line with pro-abort politicians.

Or maybe not.

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{ 87 comments }

Ed Peters February 28, 2007 at 6:10 am

hi jimmy: this case was analyzed here: http://www.canonlaw.info/a_denialofeucharist.htm

Jim Whall February 28, 2007 at 6:16 am

That is a good point, and certainly has to be taken into consideration. But…
The fact that the Church doesn’t do this, or doesn’t speak out against it allows two things to happen that create scandal and confusion.
A) Some pro-abort politicians, regardless of party, garner votes by ‘pimping’ their Catholicism to get Catholic votes. When the Church says nothing, it amounts as almost tacit approval. This helps them get elected and waters down Church teaching in the eyes of many.
B) When those politicians in office take open stances against the Church, it waters down the teachings of the Church. Other laity think its okay to vote for abortion or support it themselves because Senator X did, and the Church doesn’t say anything about him. ‘Oh, thats one of those old fashioned teachings’.
Having a Catholic politician, be it me, or anyone else, take an open public stand against the Church while proclaiming my Catholicism to the rafters is, as my wife would say, a ‘teachable moment’. To let it slip by is to teach the opposite of what you want.
It doesn’t have to be a political thing. We know we’ll hear ‘The Church should stay out of Politics!’. The answer is easy: ‘The State should stay out of telling the Church to whom it can or should deliver the Sacraments’.

Realist February 28, 2007 at 6:40 am

It is very difficult these days for Catholic bishops to take any type of moral stand because of the moral disorder in the priesthood that was kept secret by these same bishops. This immoral secrecy continues to reverberate in the news as noted by the San Diego Archdiocese declaring bankruptcy yesterday to protect the diocese from 140 lawsuits.

Realist February 28, 2007 at 6:54 am

It is very difficult these days for Catholic bishops to take any type of moral stand because of the moral disorder in the priesthood that was kept secret by these same bishops. This immoral secrecy continues to reverberate in the news as noted by the San Diego Archdiocese declaring bankruptcy yesterday to protect the diocese from 140 lawsuits. http://apnews1.iwon.com//article/20070228/D8NILTKG0.html

Lurker #59 February 28, 2007 at 7:26 am

Having pro-life politicians doesn’t matter so long as the voter base is pro-abortion. If bishops do not speak out against voting for abortion, whether that be voting in the polls, voting in the state houses, or voting in the courts, and taking all such people to task, the voter base will remain pro-abortion.
In the short term, by singling out pr-abortion politicians, you may drive sympathy votes towards them, but you will be shoring up and creating a pro-life voting base that understands and can educate other. So in the long run, it is better to deal with the problem.
Additionally, the Church should not be interested in creating a majority vote. Truth is not determined by who has the majority. That is the flaw to the American system…it has become rule by majority in many areas instead of ruling by the common good. It is the job of the Church to educate people in the truth…no matter how “unpopular” that truth is.
It seems to me that so much of the angst over this issue (and others) stems from wishing to have a majority opinion and a majority that looks favorably on the Church. What should that matter? The Gospel should be preached and if that grants us the crown of red or white martyrdom all the better.

Andy February 28, 2007 at 7:33 am

Ban them. Ban them until they confess, do penance, and change their ways.

Dan Hunter February 28, 2007 at 7:48 am

Mr Akin,
Our Holy Father forbids politicians, who publicly advocate killing infants to receive Christ in the Blessed Sacrament,or clerics to give Him to them.
God bless you.

Skygor February 28, 2007 at 8:02 am

I’d say that there are possibly two reasons why not to immediately deny communion to such a politician. Firstly remember that the Church is based off Fidelity. One doesn’t prove love and faith by giving out tests and ultimatums, granted that bishops by their office and even just by being Christians have the right do so.
The other reason is that bishops have a (very) strong obligation to their dioceses. Making an example of one morally weak politician (with a false platform and persona) is less desirable than one ticked off who can make dioceses life a living hell. I’ve seen a good deal of injustice done that could have been avoided provided the law was enforced but just happened to be “overlooked.” Bishops may discretely not put God to the test by trying to save what they can (in situations the laity never sees or have to deal with.)

Suzanne February 28, 2007 at 8:09 am

Not banning Pelosi from receiving Holy Communion hasn’t seemed squelch her polically. She is the third most powerful in the nation and maybe she wouldn’t be with stronger talk from bishops. Just a thought.

Suzanne February 28, 2007 at 8:11 am

Ok-I got so riled up…
hasn’t seemed TO squelch her POLITICALLY.

AnnonyMouse February 28, 2007 at 8:20 am

The logic of, if I do X then it will create MORE harm or scandal and confusion does not really hold its weight in this matter.
Take for instance, those who were told, by priest and others in the Church, that contraception was OK, or maybe they turned a blind eye toward those practicing, or maybe don’t say anything at all.
I am not sure about anyone else, but I am mad as heck that someone did not have enough guts to 1. tell us the truth 2. to back it up.
Now, you have those who have and are suffering from abortion. How many of those people are going to thank the Bishops and priests that dissented or did not tell the truth and support it? Not me. Because we are too busy ministering to those who are wounded.
The logic doesn’t add up to me. I don’t agree that nothing should be done. I think we have a lot of people driven more by FEAR than by what God wants us to do.

Scott W February 28, 2007 at 8:21 am

I don’t see anything inherently wrong with the San Diego diocese declaring bankruptcy. Yes, victims of sexual abuse deserve recompense, but that does not mean the diocese has to subject itself to free-for-all legalized pillaging.

John February 28, 2007 at 8:21 am

this issue, to me, comes down to two options, really:
1. Do the right thing by acting in accordance with the teachings of the church, suffer the consequences if necessary, and let God meat out justice in his divine, infinitely more qualified way; or
2. Act contrary to the teachings of the Church, take matters into your own, infinitely less qualified and capable hands, POSSIBLY avoid the chastisements of other non-divine persons, and suffer less personally…
I don’t see how the issue Jimmy describes in his article is really even one up for debate…and the folks in Church leadership positions who don’t see this shouldn’t be suprised when they, on our behalves, find themselves declare bankruptcy to head-off all the law suits…if from the top down we followed the teachings of the Church, none of the scandals and political concerns would be even close to “on the radar screen” right now. You never strike a bargain with the devil!

AnnonyMouse February 28, 2007 at 8:24 am

Jimmy, the only LONG TERM GOAL THAT SHOULD BE CONSIDERED IS HEAVEN OR HELL. Am I helping one get to Hell faster than heaven.

John February 28, 2007 at 8:44 am

Suzanne,
I would caution not to underestimate the power of the Holy Eucharist, and what it’s absence in the life of a person like Nancy Pelosi can mean for her and her “power”. God works his agenda on his own timetables, and (tongue-in-cheek) has forgotten more about power than Nancy Pelosi could ever comprehend.
I, like you, get riled when I see terrible policies and practices related to topics like abortion being enacted and going-on unchecked, but we have to be patient and understand that by following the teachings of the Church, God in his time will make matters right.
Think of it this way…
A politician in a moral battle without the Holy Eucharist, is like a rancher in a cattle-drive without his/her horse.
Peace

Esau February 28, 2007 at 8:54 am

Yes, victims of sexual abuse deserve recompense…
The KEYWORD here, folks, is VICTIMS!
However, the fact of the matter is that there are some inscrupulous folks out there who are opportunistically taken advantage of the situation and fraudulently claiming sexual abuse just to win a settlement!
This is an injustice not only to the Church but to the VICTIMS as well!

AnnonyMouse February 28, 2007 at 8:55 am

Not so John.
If you have pot, that is shattered, how could you hold water in it?
We are to worthily receive communion. We are to examine our selves, to learn and for form our concience to what is right and true.
She, Pelosi, is adding one mortal sin on top of another. And I say so because she has been told what she is doing wrong…GRAVELY WRONG. Now she is abusing the sacraments and causing scandal.
It is our prayers and sacrifices for her that could/would bring her to repentence. And it starts with someone in authority to say NO, you can no longer do this.

Esau February 28, 2007 at 8:56 am

Make that unscrupulous folks!

Esau February 28, 2007 at 8:58 am

We are to worthily receive communion. We are to examine our selves, to learn and for form our concience to what is right and true.
AMEN ANNONYMOUSE!!!
In 1 Cor 11:27, St. Paul says, “Whoever eats the bread or drink the Cup of the Lord unworthily shall be guilty of profaning the Body and the Blood of the Lord.

Tim J. February 28, 2007 at 9:06 am

Just what I was thinking, Esau.
As one poster said, “I would caution not to underestimate the power of the Holy Eucharist”.
The scripture you quoted goes on; “A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself.”.

JD February 28, 2007 at 9:11 am

this issue is one which requires canonical precision to tackle. Ed Peters’ analysis hits the nail on the head canonically, and before any of us toss our opinions out there, we’d do well to do some research, read Ed’s article and the relevant canons in the code. It’s worth noting that is in issue in which the bishop legitimately has the right to make a prudential judgment, given to him by universal law. If we really want to be orthodox Catholics, we need to respect his right to make that decision. If we want to be humble Catholics, we might also give bishops the benefit of the doubt when they make decisions that don’t seem right to us. They (probably) have more information, and they (hopefully) have prayerfully considered the issues, and they (maybe) are more well trained than we to make the decision. However, whether we agree or not, bishops around the world (definately) have the right to make such decisions granted to them by Christ himself.

Esquire February 28, 2007 at 9:15 am

Anonymouse,
Not so John.
If you have pot, that is shattered, how could you hold water in it?
We are to worthily receive communion. We are to examine our selves, to learn and for form our concience to what is right and true.

I could be wrong, but I think that’s John’s point. You are in agreement as far as I can tell.

A.Williams February 28, 2007 at 9:21 am

I see no reason why the Pastors of such parishes, who have powerful politicians as part of their flock, don’t have the responsibility to make an attempt to first talk with the politician wherein they can formally inform them of both Church doctrine, and then the real scandal that will occur to others in the faith, if they seek to blatently violate Church laws and ‘norms’ as though they have no meaning.
Really, such politicians have no love of either Christ or His Church, this is easy to tell. However, to make sure, at least a good hearing, should be in order, to make the Churches position personally and formally, perfectly clear. A letter should also be sent,by the Pastor, openly explaining the necessity of the meeting. Should the politician not attend, the pastor can make some justified ‘unilateral’ decisions, and mail these decisions to the address of the politician. He/she will thereby not be surprized when the Pastor or others, deny the Euchist on such occasions. All attempts to communicate should also be saved so as to refute any criticisms against the Parish for what might by dipicted by the politican, or press, as a ‘Draconian’ act.
Should the priest of bishop be afraid, for any reason, for taking such an approach, then He should be held accountable to the bishop or Vatican, and the parishoners should make sure that these authorities are informed. Really, everyone involved, all the parishioners etc.. should do ‘something’..but that something first being to try to privately talk with the party.
This is the correct approach, I think, and applies to all types of ‘liturgical’ abuses. Catholics need to stand up and defend the faith and Church in all manners and ways. To remain quiet is how we ended up with such a ‘liturgical’ disaster, immediately after Vatican II, the which disaster is only now beginning to be remedied by the likes of Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Arinze, and Archbishop Ranjith.

Esau February 28, 2007 at 9:25 am

Thanks, Tim J.!
For what it’s worth, unlike the fellow in the other thread, I, for one, am GLAD that you became a CATHOLIC!

AnnonyMouse February 28, 2007 at 9:47 am

one more thing to add to John’s analogy of a horse and rancher.
To apply the analogy correctly, in my opinion, would be the person LOST KILLED or GAVE AWAY his horse and is attempting to take others (stealing) under the notion that OTHERS are doing it or that they feel no remorse at that time OR no body is stopping me.
Their horse is GONE. Would God give them one if they repented? Absolutely and a thousand more. But til that time it is still wrong.

AnnonyMouse February 28, 2007 at 9:50 am

AND one more thing and I will get off my “horse” or “soap box, YOU WILL KNOW WHen THEY HAVE REPENTED. In that case, there will be no doubt because she should feel compelled to state what she believes in NOT ONLY in vote (action) but with her MOUTH too.

Morning's Minion February 28, 2007 at 10:21 am

(1) In the United States, the “right” to abortion comes directly from the U.S. Supreme Court. Members of Congress do not typically vote for permissive abortion laws. If anything, legislators are indicted by their rhetoric, if inappropriate. It is therefore really difficult to discern the true intent of a politician in voting for or against a piece of legislation. Cardinal Dulles discussed this issue, noting that voting for an appropriations bill that includes some provisions for funding abortions “might arguably be licit if the funding for abortion were only incidental and could not be removed from a bill that was otherwise very desirable.” Overall, given the source of the abortion “right” in the United States, the proximity of legislators to the act of abortion is automatically diminished. Of course, that does not let them off the hook, especially if they share in the intention of Roe v. Wade that abortion is a “right” and hence something good. But this level of cooperation in evil becomes incredibly difficult to discern.
(2) If the Church singles out one issue, the abortion issue, it will be seen as politicizing the Eucharist. Cardinal Dulles makes this point when he says that a coercive approach raises the possibility that “people can easily accuse the Church of trying to meddle in the political process, which in this country depends on the free consent of the governed.” Moreover, he claims that the Church could be accused of trying to coerce the politicians conscience, and, even worse, risk ” alienating judges, legislators and public administrators whose good will is needed for other good programs, such as the support of Catholic education and the care of the poor.”
(3) Of course, for Catholics, participation in the Eucharist is a serious issue, not to be taken lightly. And many pro-abortion politicians probably should not participate. But how many Catholics out there receive the Eucharist incorrectly? No, the key issue is coercion, whether people should be refused communion. The line is hard to draw. In Northern Ireland, the Church did not refuse communion to members of Sinn Fein and supporters, even though they supported terrorism. How many known mafia members are turned away in parts of Italy?
Bottom line: the bishops are absolutely right.
(this is taken from my analysis here: http://reasons-and-opinions.blogspot.com/2007/01/communion-wars.html)

AnnonyMouse February 28, 2007 at 10:25 am

It was made a political issue. The issue itself is life. LIFE. And in that case, being it is intrinsically evil (never justified) it is gravely wrong.
The Bishops are acting scared in my opinion.

Esquire February 28, 2007 at 10:26 am

AnnonyMouse,
Again, I think you and John are on the same page here.
He stated (pretty clearly I thought) that pro-abortion politicians should be denied communion and that the bishops should be willing to suffer the consequences for denying communion.
His next point, I think, was that we should not assume that the denial of communion will have no effect. In other words, communion should be denied not merely as a punitive measure, but in the hope that its absence will cause the politician to repent.

AnnonyMouse February 28, 2007 at 10:31 am

Esquire,
I took his post to mean basically that it was her receiving the Holy Eucharist in her state, mortal sin, that could help her to come back to Jesus fully.
John, if I misread your post, I apologize.

Kevin Jones February 28, 2007 at 11:25 am

“It’s an interesting question: “What do you place first? Your native pro-life instincts or possible longer-term harm to innocent life?”"
Of course, pro-abort politicians are endangering their souls by their actions and inaction. When we exclude assisting their salvation from our moral calculus we really do run the risk of politicizing the Blessed Sacrament.

Ligonite February 28, 2007 at 11:39 am

How about consistency across the board? Why don’t the bishops deny Communion to any of the following who scandalize the Church:
- politicians who openly support abortion rights, gay marriage rights, and embryonic stem cell research
- persons who openly live a practicing lifestyle of sexual immorality (openly homosexual, openly living with another person without the benefit of marriage, owning/operating a sex-based business, etc.)
- persons who display a manifest disregard for the authority of the Church (theologians who deny fundamental Catholic truths et al)
We are talking about something (the Eucharist) that, while “real” in the ontological sense, is not necessary for a purely material existence. In other words, denying the Eucharist is not comparable to denying someone food, water, housing, or medical care – at least as far as the secular law goes. And in fact, denying the Eucharist is a mercy because it prevents the person from compounding their already-problematic state.
Heaven forbid we should raise our children the way that some bishops choose to pastor their flock!

Scott Hughes February 28, 2007 at 12:01 pm

Why doesn’t the church bar pro-gun politicians from communion. “Thou shall not kill” is clear. That’s what I said at the Abortion Forums.

Ligonite February 28, 2007 at 12:07 pm

Scott,
It is more properly rendered “thou shall not murder”, since killing in self defense is legitimate, as is killing animals for food. Then your argument refutes itself…

Esau February 28, 2007 at 12:09 pm

We are talking about something (the Eucharist) that, while “real” in the ontological sense, is not necessary for a purely material existence. In other words, denying the Eucharist is not comparable to denying someone food, water, housing, or medical care
Ligonite:
While I can appreciate some sense of your comments here, I cannot help but see in it vestiges of the opinion that the Eucharist is nothing more than a symbol and, thus, all things considered, means nothing more.
The fact of the matter is that without the Eucharist, there is spiritual death; but just because it’s spiritual doesn’t make it less real when, in fact, it is very real!
John 6:53
53 (6-54) Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen, I say unto you: except you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you.

Ligonite February 28, 2007 at 12:18 pm

Esau,
I think you are looking for nuance in my comment where there is none. I’m sorry if I came across that way, especially in light of my last observation regarding the denial of the Eucharist as being a mercy. It is clear Catholic teaching that in the state of mortal sin, the Eucharist can do nothing for one’s soul, except perhaps compound the sacrilege (as St. Paul so aptly points out).
A symbolic Eucharist would lead ultimately to indifference regarding its reception (or distribution!) – which makes you wonder exactly where some of our bishops’ minds are regarding the Real Presence…

Esau February 28, 2007 at 12:29 pm

I think you are looking for nuance in my comment where there is none.
On the contrary, I wasn’t looking for anything.
The comments that you posted appeared to have intimated that point.

Nigel February 28, 2007 at 12:30 pm

It seems in all of this, the fact that a bishop needs to make sure the host is not desecrated needs to be taken into account. Putting Jesus into the hands of a politician (or anyone) who claims to be Catholic but knowingly rejects the “non-negotiable” tenants of the faith publicly might cause some unwanted public reaction, but its definitely wrong for the priest to do.
I understand that since none of the priests are psychic (not counting the Padre Pio types that may be floating around), they can’t deny communion to just anyone who’s voiced false views in the past, but those in public offices seem to fall into a different sort of category. Since more has been given to them, it is right that more should be asked, even if its more in the way of recanting one’s false views.

M.Z. Forrest February 28, 2007 at 12:48 pm

Now if folks would actually go to the trouble of explaining how the politicians are in mortal sin, we might have cause to complain. I am afraid the problem is not that the argument can’t be made; the problem is that the argument is full of holes. To argue that one has formal mediate cooperation in abortion is to argue that one’s actions actually caused abortions to occur. For example, a high school teacher tells his class that if any girl gets pregnant, they should have an abortion. If no abortions occur, he has not formally cooperated in the evil of abortion. This doesn’t require seeing into someone’s head, but it is not as simple as someone stating that abortion is an action within the rights for a woman that should be respected by law.
My preference would be formal heresy charges. This would of course involve ferendae sententiae excommunication. Alternatively, the equivalent could be done via local legislation of the presiding bishop. Those excommunications would be latae sententiae. This is what Bishop Bruskewicz did.
Regardless, one’s opining in favor of abortion certainly does not manifestly prove that one formally cooperated in an abortion absent notice from one’s bishop, particularly in this country.

horatio February 28, 2007 at 12:54 pm

“Since more ahs been given to [those in public office], it is right that more should be asked, even if its more in the way of recanting one’s false views.”
I don’t understand. You have to adher more concretely to the teachings of the Church if you are a Catholic politician than if you are a Catholic who isn’t a civil servant? So which teachings, as a non public servant, am I now off the hook for?
The problem isn’t that they are public servants. They are only public servants because so many of us put them in office. Otherwise, they would simply be the ordinary pro-abortion folk who we apparently have little worry for taking the Eucharist. Should the pro-abortion Catholic politican be denied the Eucharist or the thousands of Catholics who voted him or her into office?

JD February 28, 2007 at 1:04 pm

“Putting Jesus into the hands of a politician (or anyone) who claims to be Catholic but knowingly rejects the “non-negotiable” tenants of the faith publicly might cause some unwanted public reaction, but its definitely wrong for the priest to do”
That abortion is a moral evil is an infallible truth to be “tenendae” by the faithful. That is sure. But, that Roe vs. Wade should be overturned in the year 2007, as a policy issue, is not neccesarily a non-negotiable tenet of the faith. This, therefore, is a somewhat nuanced issue. Unquestionably, abortion should be illegal, but there is the theoretical possibility that a number of different particular policy formulations could be developed from that truth.

Skygor February 28, 2007 at 6:18 pm

“To argue that one has formal mediate cooperation in abortion is to argue that one’s actions actually caused abortions to occur.”

In how many ways may we either cause or share the guilt of another’s sin?
We may either cuase or share the guilt of another’s sin in nine ways:

  1. By counsel
  2. By command
  3. By consent
  4. By provocation
  5. By praise or flattery
  6. By concealment
  7. By being a partner in sin
  8. By silence
  9. By defending the ill done

Skygor February 28, 2007 at 6:31 pm

Post Scriptum:
For clarification, yes they do not cause the aborition, but they are still morally cupable for them. Also the office of a politician is that of a public figure, so they willing forfiet their rights as a private individual on declaring their intent to run for such a position. Hence they can especialy be singled out for denial than their supporting voters (of a secret ballot.)

M.Z. Forrest February 28, 2007 at 6:53 pm

Skygor,
Unless you are willing to argue the politician is gravely culpable, your point is moot.

John February 28, 2007 at 7:39 pm

Annonymouse,
Esquire has appropriately described my comments, in that I believe based on the teachings and expectations of the Church, Rep. Pelosi out of the state required to receive the Holy Eucharist, should not be allowed to receive; and that without the Eucharist her ability to wield her “power” as described above would, as per God’s will, be greatly reduced. I also commented that the timeframes for God working his agenda in converting Pelosi (or persons like her) should be allowed to progress at God’s pace through the instruments God has specifically called, and not accelerated by us anti-abortion, life loving types who misuse our free will to take the decision making process out of Gods hands to suit our lack of patience and understanding.
Peace

TerryC February 28, 2007 at 8:57 pm

I’m afraid that I see many bishop’s stand on denying communion to politicians guilty of public scandal which supports the practice of abortion in the same light that I see many of the acts of bishops in the pedophile priest coverup. They do not act because they are afraid they will offend parishioners in their diocese, who will then cease to give money and leave the church, or they are afraid that congress will pressure the IRS to deny the diocese’s tax exemption, or they are afraid that the politician will make problems for them.
All of these reasons are meaningless. If Catholic laity, clergy and presbyters are forced underground, lose their fine parish buildings and churches, and are hunted by the IRS and hounded by the media, but stand against abortion, even if we fail to stop it, then we will have followed the morally correct course.
We have no guarantee that our actions on Earth will make a difference, but we are obligated to try, even if we fail.
I know Jimmy’s arguments about why we should strive to get a conservative Republican into the White House, so that we can tip the balance of the Supreme Court so they will overturn Roe v. Wade. I don’t buy it. If we can do it successfully then they can just do it back, unless we can guarantee no secular liberals will ever again be president.
No, we need to make abortion not illegal, but unwanted. We must make it culturally unthinkable. That is ultimately a longer fight, which will require a much tougher stand, one that has the potential to be much more disruptive to our personal lifestyle.
But the first step is for the only one who can really force the bishops to take a hard stand on the subject to do so. We all know who that is. Failing that I fear that twenty years from now, if I still toil in this world, I will see no change.
But I also believe that someday the truth will come out and everyone will realize that each little life killed is a real human life and our decedents will look at our world as we look back on Germany during the Holocaust saying, “How could they have let that happen? Why didn’t they do every thing they could to stop it?”

Bob March 1, 2007 at 12:37 am

Roe wasn’t just an evil decision, it was bad law. But politicians (specifically, the Senate) have the power to put pro-abort or pro-life justices on the court. They need to have their feet held to the fire. For the life of me I cannot understand how any priest can look at himself in the mirror after presenting the Eucharist to a pro-abort politician. Frankly, it seems as disgusting, perverse, and evil as tossing a Eucharist into a toilet.
This seems to be one of those cases where we can learn something about a current issue from the pages of the Gospels. You might recall a certain fellow named Judas who betrayed an innocent person, and doomed him to be murdered, for 30 lousy pieces of silver and the opportunity to curry favor with the “popular crowd.” Hmmmmm…condemning the innocent to death…profit…popularity…pretty much sums up the pro-abort crowd. And yet we continue to invite a gaggle of unrepentent Judas wanna-bees to feast at the table of the Lord?
If they go to confession with a contrite heart, stand up and publicly denounce abortion, and faithfully and consistently support pro-life legislation and jurists with their votes AND with their rhetoric, then we should welcome them at the table. Until then, let the devil feed them since they are doing his work.
(This is for Scott)
Regarding “pro-gun” politicians…??????
How in the world do you equate gun ownership with killing? I own many guns and have never killed a person. Do you extend this “logic” to knives, automobiles, baseball bats, rat poison, etc…?? Do you know why the saying “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” became a cliche’? Because, like most cliche’s, it is simply a truth, and the label of “cliche’” is the only way people have of discrediting it.

John March 1, 2007 at 6:29 am

So if Pelosi in a state of grave sin was given the Holy Eucharist, would the Eucharist be a valid Eucharist, or does the Eucharist revert to it’s pre-consecrated form when given to a person in her status? Stated another way, does God allow the body, blood, soul, and divinity of his Son to be placed in a filthy vessel?
Being very new to the Church, could someone help me with this question?

AnnonyMouse March 1, 2007 at 6:44 am

John, the Eucharist is the Body of Christ. It does not change becuase of the persons sinfulness or because someone is in mortal sin. What happens is that person 1 adds more mortal sin (sacrilege to receive communion in mortal sin) 2 can not receive any graces from the sacrament

Jamie Beu March 1, 2007 at 7:03 am

I think we’re talking too much about “practical actions” and “pragmatic solutions” without taking into account a very real fact of our Church – it has NEVER been popular!
It would have been easier to say that Jesus was just another god, rather than raise the ire of the Roman emperors. That didn’t happen.
It would have been easier, once Christianity was accepted as a religion, to have gone along with Arianism. After all, that was what some of the Roman emperors preferred as a good interpretation of Christianity, and also would have been acceptable to many Jews. That didn’t happen.
It would have been easier to have just gone along with King Henry VIII, than to lose Church property and the lives of many religious. If that had happened, than Sir Thomas More would not be known as St Thomas More. But that didn’t happen.
So why, then, is it acceptable now to take the easier, more logical, more pragmatic approach of NOT speaking out against our politicians? Maybe if we had 30 or 40 years ago, abortion on demand would not be the law of the land.
But that didn’t happen.

Dan Hunter March 1, 2007 at 7:21 am

What we have now is a division in the Church.
It is no longer ONE,HOLY,CATHOLIC,AND APOSTOLIC.
That is, if the dissenters from the Magesterium are allowed to remain Catholic.If that is the case,we have two churches.
God bless you.

AnnonyMouse March 1, 2007 at 7:34 am

John, this may also help you. It is from the Bishop’s recent document “Happy are Those Called to His Supper”
“As Catholics we believe what the Church authoritatively teaches on matters of faith and morals, for to hear the voice of the Church, on matters of faith and morals, is to hear the voice of Christ himself. To give selective assent to the teachings of the Church not only deprives us of its life-giving message but also seriously endangers our communion with it.
Some Catholics may not fully understand the Church’s doctrinal and moral teaching on certain issues. They may have certain questions and even uncertainties. In these situations of honest doubt and confusion, they are welcome to partake of Holy Communion as long as they are prayerfully and honestly striving to understand the truth of what the Church professes and are taking appropriate steps to resolve their confusion and doubt. Individuals who experience serious difficulties with or doubts about Church teaching should carefully study those Church teachings from authentic sources and seek advice from a confessor or pastor.
If a Catholic in his or her personal or professional life were knowingly and obstinately to reject the defined doctrines of the Church, or knowingly and obstinately to repudiate its definitive teaching on moral issues, however, he or she would seriously diminish his or her communion with the Church. Reception of Holy Communion in such a situation would not accord with the nature of the Eucharistic celebration, so he or she should refrain.

JD March 1, 2007 at 8:26 am

I’m very pro-life, and I believe that Roe vs. Wade ought to be overturned immediately- today, if not yesterday.
BUT, someone please prove to me that not believing Roe vs. Wade ought to be overturned immediately today makes them a dissenter from the magisterium.
I’d very much like to believe that it does, but it remains unproven to me.

AnnonyMouse March 1, 2007 at 9:25 am

JD, because it takes the life of an innocent person, wounds the mother and father, and hurts the society. Out of charity for God and our neighbor we would try to do this/overturn this at each possible chance.
Why wouldn’t you?

Bob March 1, 2007 at 9:28 am

JD -
The problem isn’t with their belief that Roe shouldn’t be overturned. It would be different if it were you or I who quietly held that belief. These are people who publicly go against the teachings of the church and who, in a very real and tangible way, support and promote abortion. Their votes on the issue and, in some cases, their votes for pro-abort justices actually facilitate murder. Civic leaders are, and should be, held to a higher standard.

Anonymous March 1, 2007 at 9:47 am

support and promote abortion. Their votes on the issue and, in some cases, their votes for pro-abort justices actually facilitate murder. Civic leaders are, and should be, held to a higher standard.
Bob- that is a very good point. I agree with you.
On to a different point. I think looking at these two canons:
Can. 915 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. 916 A person who is conscious of grave sin is not to celebrate Mass or receive the body of the Lord without previous sacramental confession unless there is a grave reason and there is no opportunity to confess; in this case the person is to remember the obligation to make an act of perfect contrition which includes the resolution of confessing as soon as possible.
might bring some clarity. Obviously, the CIC does not expect persons conscious of grave sin to approach the Eucharistic table. This is covered in canon 916.
Canon 915, however, only deals with the excommunicated, interdicted, or those “obstinately persisting in manifest grave sin.” This obstinate persistence is a technical canonical term meaning that the person has recieved canonical warnings from his ordinary (bishop) about his activity and persisted. That is the only time a minister may deny a person holy communion aside from excommunication or interdict. Being in a state of mortal sin is not sufficient for any minister to bar someone from Holy Communion, according to canon law.

JD March 1, 2007 at 9:48 am

whoops–that last post was mine!

Esau March 1, 2007 at 9:49 am

JD stated: “BUT, someone please prove to me that not believing Roe vs. Wade ought to be overturned immediately today makes them a dissenter from the magisterium.”
Pardon me, but could somebody clarify something for me –
Isn’t ABORTION about millions of people being slaughtered or is that just me???
Doesn’t the Magisterium teach something about how it is wrong to murder people (in this case, innocent people, in fact)?
Doesn’t even the 10 Commandments, in fact, teach this?
Now, if MURDER is against the 10 Commandments; if MURDER is against the very Teachings of the Magisterium; if I were to not believe that such things that advocate such MURDER is wrong and, therefore, should be overturned; then, wouldn’t my very actions here demonstrate that I am actually ‘dissenting’ from the Teachings of the Magisterium and, therefore, would actually make me a ‘dissenter’?

AnnonyMouse March 1, 2007 at 9:56 am

JD, we are talking about something that is public, we can SEE their votes, hear their support of abortion. This is a public setting so someone CAN and SHOULD say, NO, you should not do this anymore and this is where it goes back to the Bishops and priests over these individuals.
ALSO, I will challenge you. IF before MASS, I talk with our priest and say I murdered my child because I think I have a right to and if I get pregnant again, I can choose the same. NOW THAT PRIEST CAN DENY ME COMMUNION! He surely can and surely SHOULD.

AnnonyMouse March 1, 2007 at 9:58 am

Also, doesn’t Canon Law 915 refer to priests only?

Esau March 1, 2007 at 10:08 am

Canon 916 states that anyone who is conscious of grave sin may not celebrate Mass or receive the Body of the Lord without previously having been to sacramental confession.
When it says, ‘is not to celebrate Mass’ – that’s thinking of priests and the reasons is priests are required – in fact, they are the only ones who are required – to receive Communion at Mass.
If they celebrate, they have to receive Communion. Otherwise, the liturgical action is not complete.
And so, as a result, that’s in there to kind of warn them, ‘don’t think that you could celebrate Mass and just not receive if you were in mortal sin’.
No, it is because you have to receive, you’re not even to celebrate Mass if you’re a priest.

M.Z. Forrest March 1, 2007 at 10:40 am

The only time I have seen Canon 915 officially invoked on those who hadn’t been interdicted or excommunicated was in the case of those wearing rainbow sashes. Those that have been advised by their bishop not to approach communion due to some action have been interdicted. I am not a canon lawyer. I could see a priest using this canon to deny communion to someone who was drunk or dressed scandalously. Regardless, I don’t think the intent of this canon was to set up as a means to avoid a canonical trial or formal interdiction.
Can 915 largely parallels Canon 1184 on Christian burial. The relevant departure point is:
§2. If any doubt occurs, the local ordinary is to be consulted, and his judgment must be followed.

AnnonyMouse March 1, 2007 at 10:51 am

I just got the book I ordered, “Saving Those Damned Catholics” by Judie Brown. It looks to be a good read, on this topic too….not for sissies tho.

Esau March 1, 2007 at 10:58 am

It looks to be a good read, on this topic too….not for sissies tho.
AnnonyMouse:
Then why are you reading it??? ;^)
By the way, whatever became of your Lenten promise to abstain from the blog while during Lent?

Red Cardigan March 1, 2007 at 12:20 pm

I’ve been thinking quite seriously about this topic. It occurred to me that most of the parishes I’ve attended wouldn’t be comfortable places for pro-abort ‘Catholic’ politicians, since the parishes I attend are unabashedly pro-life, and our previous pastor spent a whole month preaching against abortion (and contraception!) each year at Sunday Mass.
The real solution to this problem is to stop teaching watered-down Catholicism. If we want pro-abort politicians to stop receiving Holy Communion at Mass, we should stop making the parishes of America a haven to them. This requires getting rid of the celebratory, congratulatory, “I’m okay, you’re okay” style of preaching which has held a paralyzing grip on our churches for the past half-century or so. It also requires making sure our priests believe abortion is wrong, something that, sadly, isn’t a given.
Politicians show up at church because it’s one more place they can be lionized and purred over. If they think we’re going to hiss instead, they’ll stay away on their own. No bishop will require a spinal implant for the purpose, if the laity can remember our own vertebrae.

AnnonyMouse March 1, 2007 at 1:57 pm

Esau, remember I am a GIRL not a sissy LOL
A sissy is an effeminate man or boy; also : a timid or cowardly person.
Yes, you are correct and I need to get back to my promise.
Red Cardigan, You are right, and I especially like your comment on the spinal implant…I will need to write that down.

Esau March 1, 2007 at 2:10 pm

Esau, remember I am a GIRL not a sissy LOL
I knew you’d get a laugh out of that one! ;^)

The Griper March 1, 2007 at 2:10 pm

in reading all of the posts there seems to be one question missing in evey one. nancy and john kerry took an oath to God to uphold the Constitution of the U.S. The Constitution has been said to uphold the right to abortion. any one want to try to reconcile the seemingly conflict seen here? how can they take one viewpoint without being in conflict with the other, their oath vs th Church’s doctrine on abortion?

AnnonyMouse March 1, 2007 at 2:13 pm

Because God’s law(s) always trump state laws, ESPECIALLY when they are GRAVELY wrong as with abortion.

AnnonyMouse March 1, 2007 at 2:20 pm

That is also why St. Thomas Moore lost his head, because what the King WANTED him to do way wrong, and he (St Thomas) could not do that.

Esau March 1, 2007 at 2:21 pm

The Constitution has been said to uphold the right to abortion.
Kindly demonstrate the fact that the right to an abortion is clearly guaranteed by the Constitution.
Also, correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t there a time in the history of our great country here that the right to own slaves (that was unfortunately read into the right to property) was also one provided for by the Constitution?
Further, what can you say of those who attempt to legislate from the bench on such matters?

John March 1, 2007 at 5:12 pm

Griper,
The Constitution is not a static document, as referenced by the examples provided by Esau. If we look at the Constitution properly, as a fluid, socially affected document subject to modification, revision, and review, etc., then on the whole the Constitution is not a document that grants the right for a woman to have an abortion. In fact for the nearly 231 years our Country has been around, only the last 40 or so years have we had the plague of Abortion legalized and rearing it’s ugly head.
Poorly conceived and politically motivated legal analysis and review, coupled with gross judicial incompetence in applying that analysis and review to the facts in the case is what led to Roe v. Wade…not our Constitution…Watch and see how the abortion issue is cut down like individual shalks of grain if we can keep Pelosi types out of office long enough to get good anti-abortion Judges like Roberts, Alito, Scalia, and Thomas in the majority on our highest bench. Limp wristed liberal voting is the reason we have abortion in our country, not our Constitution! You want to see abortion go away, send pelosi and her cronies back to their $1,000 per day spas where they belong, and vote in the hard working, honest Christian woman or man…it only gets better from there!

Esau March 1, 2007 at 5:16 pm

The Constitution is not a static document, as referenced by the examples provided by Esau.
Thank you, John.
And thank you as well for elaborately illustrating the mallaeable nature of the US Constitution and, more importantly, the “legislation from the bench” that clearly had taken place over the course of the years which had allowed such a travesty to even be considered as a so-called right!

The Griper March 2, 2007 at 10:38 am

he smiles.
1. i asked for a reconciliation of the oath given to God that our legislators make and their personal beliefs. breaking an oath to God is a sin also. that would be one reason that the Church does not recognize divorce but does recognize annullments.
Esau,
2. i never said nor advocate that the Constitution is a static document. the amendment process clearly written in the Constution declares that. as for the slavery issue, that was resolved through that process. and the fact that the process was used declares that slavery was constitutional prior to that amendment. it may not have been morally right but it was constitutional.
3. as for demonstrating that abortion is a constitutional right, i don’t need to. reason; i don’t have the power and authorty to declare either way. that power and authority has been granted to the Supreme Court. we can disagree with them but we must accept that it is their decision not ours. thus, if they say abortion is a right then it must be constitutional for as long as that decision is upheld. and with the separation of powers, the legislative branch is without the power and authority to legislate differently. that is why i conditioned my statement by the word “said”. it was the Supreme Court who “said” that it was a constitutional right.
one more thing. even if the Roe vs Wade was overturned it would not outlaw abortion but only send it back to the states to decide the issue.
so, my challenge still stands. there has to be way to reconcile the conflict or else a Catholic would not be able to run for political office because of the requirements of the oath he takes for office.

Esau March 2, 2007 at 10:47 am

GRIPER:
Based on what you just mentioned above, those who amended the Constitution in order to abolish slavery (as had originally been a right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution then) were thus (in accordance with your view) breaking their oaths as well!
Further, did not the abolishment of slavery itself come about due to the efforts devoted by the masses who dedicated their lives to making this possible?
How could those doing the same in terms of Abortion be any different?

Esau March 2, 2007 at 11:01 am

i asked for a reconciliation of the oath given to God that our legislators make and their personal beliefs. breaking an oath to God is a sin also.
GRIPER:
Based on what you just mentioned above, those who amended the Constitution in order to abolish slavery (as had originally been a right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution then) were thus (in accordance with your view) breaking their oaths as well!
You said (rather poorly, I might add, as I can’t even make out your grammar):
” i asked for a reconciliation of the oath given to God that our legislators make and their personal beliefs. breaking an oath to God is a sin also.”
What else was it that brought forth the abolishment of slavery than those who were motivated by their personal beliefs to end such travesty?
You also said:
“…as for the slavery issue, that was resolved through that process…”
Again, did not the abolishment of slavery itself come about due to efforts devoted by the masses (both the public who influenced those decisions as well as the legislators who yielded to their beliefs — and perhaps their very conscience — on the issue) who dedicated their lives to making its abolishment possible?
Therefore, how could those doing the same in terms of Abortion be any different?

Bob March 2, 2007 at 12:36 pm

Griper -
There is no conflict. In order to fulfil their oath of office, elected officials need only to work within the boundaries of the framework of government as established in the Constitution…this includes ammending the Constitution in an approved manner. Helping to orchestrate a coup would be an example of breaking their oath of office, voting for confirmation of a pro-life Justice would not.
If, however, their oath were worded something like “I swear to gleefully work to keep every hair-brained decision a liberal Supreme Court handed down from being overturned, so help me God” then you would be correct that there would be a conflict.

The Griper March 2, 2007 at 4:30 pm

he smiles once again. nice try esau.
“Based on what you just mentioned above, those who amended the Constitution in order to abolish slavery (as had originally been a right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution then) were thus (in accordance with your view) breaking their oaths as well!”
ammending the Constitution is a part of the idea of upholding the Constitution. it is the way the founding fathers thought of so that each generation may have the right to change it to their liking. but until that amendment is passed, it is as it is. thus, abortion is constitutional until then if that is what is required. but as i said overturning Roe vs Wade does not outlaw abortion. it only sends the issue back to the states.
what Roe vs Wade did more than anything is declare that the states did not have the power and authority to regulate abortion. it essentually took that right away from the states and handed it to the people.
as for the arguement of the “masses”. it doesn’t matter what the masses think. we have no authority or power to change it. the “equal rights” amendment is proof of that. and i am assuming that by the use of the word, masses, you are speaking of the majority of the people. if that be a poor assumption i apologize.
bob,
i agree with you about the right to confirm judges who are pro-life. this does take away from my arguement, if in fact they are pro-life. but this would leave nancy pelosi out because the House of Representatives does not have the power and authority to affect that confirmation, only the Senate does.
and being pro-life is not a solid basis for the Senate to confirm a judge for the reason that i have already stated. overturning Roe vs Wade will not outlaw abortion. it will only sends the issue back to the states. and the problem here is, we then run into an equal rights issue.
as for your statement in regards to the oath,i won’t justify what you said by responding to it. that would be insulting your intelligence.

AnnonyMouse March 3, 2007 at 7:49 am

There is no where in the Constitution does it say that everyone has the right to kill the unborn. Nowhere.
The founding fathers never intended for those in politics to separate their conscience from their descision making, quite to the contrary we were warned that doing so, abadoning God and our morals would bring disaster.
So, one could AND should object to the current laws regarding abortion. But I think your real gripe, Griper, is that they would be going against the party they are supporting, not what is in their actual rights and duties. And to do that is hard, not something the regular politician is willing to do.

John March 3, 2007 at 8:21 am

Griper,
I’ve already answered your question. Let me try to answer it for you again (while we all smile together).
You said:
“nancy and john kerry took an oath to God to uphold the Constitution of the U.S. The Constitution has been said to uphold the right to abortion. any one want to try to reconcile the seemingly conflict seen here?”
Your first two sentences indicate, when combined, that any politician who swears an oath to uphold the Constitution, swears and oath to uphold abortion. You make this claim because you indicate that abortion is “said” (by whom incidentally?) to be upheld by the Constitution. The conflict you suggest then, is that while making the necessary oath BEFORE God (as I would argue – - and not TO God as you state), to commence that politician’s public service term, he/she is actually making an oath to uphold a core legal and political document (the Constitution) that you suggest is “said” to be directly contrary to God’s will.
My analysis attacks your assertion that the Constitution is directly contrary to God’s will; which when proven, makes the whole of your argument necessarily fail (i.e. if the Constitution is not contrary to God’s will, then no conflict exists vis-a-vis God’s will in swearing the oath to support a non-contrarian document).
If you re-read my post above you’ll see that the Constitution is not contrary to God’s will. That is not to say that, the manner in which certain liberal Justices and politicians twist and contort the cases and matters run THROUGH the Constitution is not contrary to God’s will, but that does not make the Constitution the problem here. To take the alternative position would be a bit like saying guns are to blame for President Lincoln’s assasination, and not the Kooky actor who shot him! The misuser of the Constitution is the real culprit here.
Therefore, a person swearing an oath before God, to support and defend the Constitution, who will not promote or support abortion issues, does not contradict him/herself before God by making a Constitutional oath anymore than Pelosi or Kerry fail to contradict themselves before God when they swear to support and defend the Constitution of our great country. The point at which Kerry and Pelosi (among many others) fail to follow God’s laws, and contradict their own oath related promises, is when they later violate their oaths by twisting the Constitution to support legislative positions contrary to God’s laws.
Stated another way…If Pelosi and Kerry while swearing their Constitutional oaths, do support a pro-abortion agenda, then their political views are contrary to God’s will, but not because the Constitution makes those views contrary…
And excellent question Griper! Hope you’re still smiling.

The Griper March 3, 2007 at 5:42 pm

hello, john,
i am glad you are smiling too. i’m assuming you are enjoy this debate as much as i am. and yes, i am still smiling. and i thank you for the compliment on my question.
even though i answered some of things you said already i may have addressed them to another.
so, i will address this post to you.
“Your first two sentences indicate, when combined, that any politician who swears an oath to uphold the Constitution, swears and oath to uphold abortion. You make this claim because you indicate that abortion is “said” (by whom incidentally?) to be upheld by the Constitution.”
i’ve answered this question in a previous post. it was said by the party who has been granted the power and authority to do so, the Supreme Court.
“If you re-read my post above you’ll see that the Constitution is not contrary to God’s will.”
i make no claim that the Constituion (as written) is contrary to God’s will. nor should any comments made by me be taken as assuming or asserting that.
“That is not to say that, the manner in which certain liberal Justices and politicians twist and contort the cases and matters run THROUGH the Constitution is not contrary to God’s will, but that does not make the Constitution the problem here.”
i agree wholeheartedly with this. and i never said the it was the Consitution (as written)itself was the problem.
“Therefore, a person swearing an oath before God, to support and defend the Constitution, who will not promote or support abortion issues, does not contradict him/herself before God by making a Constitutional oath… ”
as you have written the above statement, i agree and would never declare otherwise.
“Stated another way…If Pelosi and Kerry while swearing their Constitutional oaths, do support a pro-abortion agenda, then their political views are contrary to God’s will, but not because the Constitution makes those views contrary…”
i also agree with this statement as written. and if you look at my question it is part of my question but stated in different terms.
hope you are still smiling because of my response so far.
so, given my responses, i say it takes nothing away from my claim. then you’d have to agree that you did not give me an answer to my question. because the question still stands as asked. if it wasn’t i would say so.

Anonymous March 4, 2007 at 11:20 pm

I still think its funny that people who advocate for murdering criminals can get the body of christ without a blemish on their soul but people who want women to have control over their own bodies should shudder at the thought of even considering themselves worthy. Such are the policies of convienience.
The decisions we impose upon others such as death are no sin to us, but the decisions we leave to others are considered grave and immoral when there is a question as to the death of a person and indeed to the safety of the woman in the case of women and girls who have suffered through rape and incest.
Furthermore, until the whole debacle of the molestation scandal and the scandal of the informant infiltation of the clergy in Poland has been cleared up, should the pope himself be recieving communion? I would suggest not. Those in leadership who have sinned should set the example.

bill912 March 5, 2007 at 3:41 am

Thank you, Screwtape.

Mary Kay March 5, 2007 at 4:02 am

Bill, nah, must be his cousin. Screwtape at least sounded coherent.

bill912 March 5, 2007 at 4:05 am

Good point, Mary Kay. I was looking at the negatives; his blacks are our whites, what he embraces we should run from.

John March 5, 2007 at 4:08 pm

Hey anonymous,
“upon this rock I shall build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it…”
Clergy are in a different position that lay Catholics, in that, the policy and management decisions they make relate to whether the Church survives, as Hell and its minions attempt to prevail against it…
Evil, much like the terrorist we see operating in Iraq and other places, does not care about collateral damage, and seeks to infiltate and destroy at every opportunity. The Devil has a specific strategy to attack the weak and get us to turn on each other. we must resist temptation, and stand next to each other to defend the Church.
We as lay Catholics and Christians can look at the Church and criticize the decisions of our Catholic leaders, but decisions made a high levels in the church are made to preserve the church as a whole. If we surrendered the entire church every time evil found weakness, exploited it, and allowed the matter to play out in the public arena, then there would be no Church.
Individuals who have been individually aggrieved by Church officials and clergy have recourse through the Courts, but the Universal Church should not be denied communion with Jesus because a few have strayed and caused great damage.
Also, please do not think that our top leaders do not personally struggle with the pain those who stray and sin cause them and the rest of us. Pope John Paul II suffered greatly from the abuse attrocities in our church, but he had responsibilities to “man-the-helm” as well, and keep the ship on course despite a number of rats on the deck.
Oh, and the babies growing in the wombs of mothers who were victims of rape or incest are babies just the same, and deserve the right to live just like you and I do. Please pray for them!
I hope this helps.
Peace

Fr. Stephanos, O.S.B. March 7, 2007 at 8:45 am

I’m going to attempt to post here a hyperlink to a well-written piece in this morning’s San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper, “BANKRUPTCY: It’s Best for the Church and the Victims.”
Click HERE for it.
If that doesn’t work, the following is the complete URL.
http://signonsandiego.printthis.clickability.com/pt/cpt?action=cpt&title=It%27s+best+for+the+church+and+the+victims+%7C+The+San+Diego+Union-Tribune&expire=&urlID=21445761&fb=Y&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.signonsandiego.com%2Funiontrib%2F20070307%2Fnews_lz1e7ehrlich.html&partnerID=616

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