Bishop Thomas Wenski, the coadjutor bishop of Orlando, joins the ranks of bishops who want pro-abortion Catholics to get the message. Specifically, he rejects the claims by some that the bishops have no business telling pro-abortion Catholics that they are not in communion with the Church, that they are in grave sin, for taking a public stance in favor of abortion, and that they should refrain from receiving Communion.
Bishops as teachers of the faith have no special competencies in the world of business or politics—and in those worlds we have no regulatory or legal powers. But precisely as teachers of the Catholic faith we do have competence to tell businessmen or politicians or anyone else for that matter what is required to be a Catholic. It is totally within our competence to say that one cannot be complicit in the injustice of denying the right to life of an unborn child or an invalid elder and still consider oneself a good Catholic.
Right on, Bishop Wenski. He adds that most pastors prefer to give rebukes in private, but I would add that it is precisely when those private rebukes fail to work that a bishop’s, and any pastor’s, hardest duty is required. He must show that there are consequences for being a Catholic, but failing to adhere to the faith. And Bishop Wenski alludes to that in his remarks.
But to fail to rebuke when necessary is to fail in the charity we owe our brethren. (And we bishops will be apologizing for a long time for the failure to rebuke and apply sanctions to those wayward priests who criminally sinned against young people and children.)
Bravo, Your Excellency. Now the rest of the bishops must follow Archbishop Raymond Burke’s lead and provide those consequences.