Bishop retracts statement, but doesn’t offer a new one

Bishop retracts statement, but doesn’t offer a new one

Bishop Frank Dewane of Venice, Florida, was ordained this past week, but in an interview with a local newspaper before his ordination he was quoted as saying that he would not deny Communion to pro-abortion Catholic politicians because he didn’t want to politicize the Eucharist.

Now he wants a correction, saying that it didn’t accurately reflect his views. Unfortunately, the bishop’s spokesman wouldn’t say what his views actually are.

Asked if Dewane hadn’t made up his mind, diocese spokeswoman Mary Campo said that wouldn’t be correct. Asked if he supported withholding Communion, she said that wouldn’t be correct, either. “He would prefer not to comment,” Campo said.

So what did he originally say?

Dewane responded: “I’m going to address that by saying a bishop, I believe, should know the politicians in the region, whether it’s senators, whether it’s congresspeople, and address them specifically.”

He continued: “I think it’s uncomfortable for us all if sacraments in that sense—and that’s specifically what you are referring—become something used in the public arena—‘used’—and that can be a broad sense of the word.”

He then said he didn’t want to politicize the Eucharist, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Of course, this isn’t a political matter properly, this is a moral and doctrinal and canonical issue. The point is that these are public figures who are both creating scandal among the faithful by their views and influencing actual laws that affect lives. That they are politicians is secondary to their Catholicism.

Dealing with erring politicians one on one

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  • While many of our bishops seem to be veritable flip-floppers or undecided on doctrinal and spiritual matters, they are quite definite on U.S policy issues such as illegal immigration and the mid-east crisis.  Guess the only way that these so-called ‘Catholics’ would ever be publicly chastised is if they came down the wrong way on these matters.  Never catch them acting ‘politically!’

  • I disagree Mark. I think Bishop Dewane is trying to say the right thing in the mold of Archbishop Burke, but doesn’t want to give the media ammunition to pigeonhole him as politicizing the Eucharist. I don’t think he’s “B/S’ing”, but I do think he could offer some clearer gidance to his flock as to just what he is thinking.