We have an interesting cover story in October’s Catholic World Report: Bishop Rene Henry Gracida, emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas, writes about how he placed a pro-abortion Catholic politician under interdict. Without naming the politician, Bishop Gracida reveals the steps he took, and also dismantles the arguments of those who say that we shouldn’t “politicize” the Communion line, or that we can’t judge the state of a person’s soul when they come to Communion and so on.
I do disagree with the bishop on one point: I do think that in some cases it is necessary to make the interdict public at some point in the process as part of preventing scandal to the faithful. By not making the consequences of the politician’s actions public, it does not drive home to Catholics the severity of violating the Church’s teaching on the sanctity of life.
Granted, Bishop Gracida does say that if he knew the politician was going to Communion after having been told he should not receive, the bishop would have published the interdict in the diocesan newspaper. Still, I think such cases are not just for the sake of salvation of the one politician, but for the whole Church community. Yet, I think that’s a small point. Overall, Bishop Gracida strikes the right note and shows the error of the approach of Cardinal McCarrick or Archbishop Harry Flynn of Minneapolis, for example.