Lacking clarity on the excommunication/no Communion issue

Lacking clarity on the excommunication/no Communion issue

It’s not just some American bishops who have a hard time with the clear instructions of canon law on what to do about public figures who publicly dissent from non-negotiable Catholic moral principles.

Ed Peters looks at an interview in Time magazine with Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and specifically at his answers to questions concerning pro-abortion Catholic politicians. The cardinal’s responses don’t seem to line up with what canon law and its official intepretations say.

For example the cardinal says: “For who am I to deny Holy Communion to a person?” and Ed’s response is: “You are, among other things, the minister of the Eucharist as set out in Canon 915.” The cardinal adds: “I cannot [deny Holy Communion to a person]” and Ed responds: ” Under certain circumstances, a minister of the Eucharist is required to do precisely that.”

You can read the whole thing. What we have in the cardinal’s response is the basic nutshell of what we have heard from so many bishops when asked if they will deny Communion to pro-abortion politicians and Ed gives the definitive response they’re supposed to give.

Why is this is so difficult for so many bishops? Why are they so squeamish about doing this right thing? Do they think it will drive more Catholics from the pews? If they’d leave over this, then is sitting in those pews actually doing them any good in the first place?

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