Ratzinger speaks

Ratzinger speaks

Cardinal Ratzinger may not have said what some US bishops said he said. A few bishops, returning from Rome after their ad limina visits, said the cardinal, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, told them that they were essentially right not to refuse Communion to pro-abortion Catholic politicians. However, Catholic World News is reporting that Ratzinger sent a private letter to the US bishops reiterating that such people should not receive Communion. It is also indicated that Ratzinger has expressed favor toward the more conservative approaches of bishops like Archbishop Raymond Burke, who said he would refuse John Kerry Communion. But I am sure that other bishops will say that Ratzinger agrees with them and continue to say that if dissenters don’t voluntarily refrain, they won’t refuse them.

What we need is a more definitive pronouncement from Rome. Stop beating around the bush.

  • Said the same in my blog.  Connect the dots. 

    Political advocacy of abortion -> mortal sin -> public obstinate mortal sin == don’t receive Holy Communion =>  (bishops, priests, etc.) obligated not to give communion.

  • “A few bishops, returning from Rome after their ad limina visits, said the cardinal, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, told them that they were essentially right not to refuse Communion to pro-abortion Catholic politicians.”

    So, the head of the CDF and the “Inquisitor” of the Holy Roman Church is saying essentially what Bishop Sheridan and Archbishop Flynn have said.
    That statement is that it is up to the Catholic, himself to govern his own conscience, for only he and God knows what is in his soul. 

    Bishop Sheridan says, “It is at this point that the Church calls upon sinners to withhold themselves from receiving Holy Communion until they have been forgiven of their sins. This is a far cry from denying someone Communion. How, in fact, could I deny anyone Holy Communion since I would not know the condition of the communicant10

    “Equivalent collegial actions cannot be carried out at the level of individual particular Churches or of gatherings of such Churches called together by their respective Bishops. At the level of an individual Church, it is in the name of the Lord that the diocesan Bishop leads the flock entrusted to him, and he does so as the proper, ordinary and immediate Pastor. His actions are strictly personal, not collegial, even when he has a sense of being in communion. Moreover, although he has the fullness of the power of the Sacrament of Orders, he does not exercise the supreme power which belongs to the Roman Pontiff and to the College of Bishops as elements proper to the universal Church, elements present within each particular Church in order that it may fully be Church, that is, a particular presence of the universal Church with all the essential elements pertaining thereto.

    At the level of particular Churches grouped together by geographic areas (by countries, regions, etc.), the Bishops in charge do not exercise pastoral care jointly with collegial acts equal to those of the College of Bishops.”


  • That is not what Ratzinger is saying. You are reading into it. And I see you are conveniently ignoring Archbishop Burke: “Canon 915 does not require that the competent authority in the church actually judge the state of a personomment_author_email>camilam42@gmail.com
    2004-06-17 21:52:11
    2004-06-18 01:52:11
    Since you bring up Archbishop Burke,  let us look at just what he says.  I think that if we take the whole statement, we can find that there is no division between him, Archbishop Flynn and Bishop Sheridan.

    Archbishop Burke: “First of all, Canon 915 is not part of Book Six of the code, which treats of ecclesiastical sanctions.”

    This is a very informative statement….and shows that often times Canon 915 is taken out of context.

    “Here I note that the declaration regarding the exclusion from holy Communion came only after a personal communication of the churchhe area of faith and morals.  This is precisely why the Church and her bishops are so careful about the application of these issues.  They not only have to preserve the integrity of the Sacraraments, but the also infallilibity of Holy Mother Church. 

    So, it then becomes a matter of certainty and self judgement.  As Bishop Sheridan, Archbishop Flynn and Archbishop Burke have said.  If ALL of the criteria have been met, then and only then the Church can speak on the issue.


  • From post @ 8:52 am…..

    (I am using a hypothetical to prohibit making an actual judgment.)

    An example:  We as Catholics have an obligation to live the life of the Church.  Let’s assume that Church makes a law that says it is morally sinful to spit on the sidewalk.  She has spoken infallibly.

    Camilam spits on the sidewalk.  Clearly a breaking of the law.  But why?  What are the reasons?  What is in his soul?  What are the circumstances in which he did this action?  Were there mitigating circumstances?  Is there certainty that what he did was in contradiction to human law, natural law, divine law and eternal law; in every instance? 

    Is what Camilam did an evil to bring about good (which is never allowed) or is it double effect, or some other principle of the lesser of two evils?

    This action if deemed to be so, is an infallible statement and must be adhered to in every situation.

    Now, the bishops have to answer those questions and even more on these issues.  So, there are a number of factors.

    With all of that being said there are certain things that can never be tolerated, abortion being one.  However, the measure of certainty must still be ascertained before a judgment can be levied, lest the Church, herself, be in error, which she cannot be.

    It is the bishops who must define and uphold this.  This is why I must trust the bishops.  This is why I assent to the bishops on these issues.

    Do they make mistakes?  Yep.  Do they make mistakes on faith and morals, I daresay that if they are being authentic, no.  I believe that is what they are doing.  But they are just not doing it in our timeframe.

    Bishops are sheperds.  They have to tend to their sheep.  But they have to act in the best intrest of all their sheep.  They must be consistent.  So, if they are making decisions that DENY something, they must be consistent in thay DENYING.  However, to ask that in certain cases (through instruction, letters, and preaching) the sheep ascertain for themselves and ABSTAIN, from that thing, they remain consistent with not only the universal laws, but also protecting the integrity of the Church and the Sacraments.

    This does not mean that they are not to separate the diseased sheep from the herd, but what a travesty it would be to remove that sheep who is not really diseased, because of haste or uncertainty. 

    This is what the bishops face.  This is why even Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger is calling for ABSTAINING as opposed to DENYING.


  • michigancatholic,

    I ask you to show me where I am incorrect, from an objective point of view.  I am not asking for your opinion, I am asking for factual statemtent that refutes my position.  Apply the hypothetical however you wish, but you’ll find that it is sound as well.

    Perhaps you would like a more militant Church, perhaps not.  However, you have to assent your will to what the Church is, not to what you want.  That is the beauty of the Catholic Church, it is not ala carte.  She will speak.  She will define.  She will do it in one of three ways:  Ex cathedra, proclaimation of the Ordinary Magisterium, and/or proclaimation of the sensus fidelium.

    It would seem that the Church is coming to an answer in the second way.  Just not as fast as you and some others would like….Patience is a virtue, my friend.

    Orthodoxy is a hard pill to swallow, because it is not always being conservative (in a political) sense, but patient.  To be faithful means to be orthodox, but we are to be patient in that orthodoxy.

    God Bless,


  • Well, just watch and we will see what happens, Cam.

    And I hate to tell you but pronouncing things isn’t worth a tinker’s darn if nothing is done.  We’ve been pronouncing all over the place but not doing much of anything for 40 years.

    Time to actually put up or shut up.  And that’s what we’ll be watching for the next few years.

    Holy, you’re talking holy?  Then we’d better see something holy, or no one is going to believe it for one minute.

    The time for blah blah blah is over. 

  • That is your opinion michigancatholic and you are entitled to it.  I am coming from a totally different place.  I am not giving an opinion, but rather using the teachings of the Church to postulate a defense of her.

    The Church must defend against error.  That much is clear.  But she must not only defend from the errors from the People of God, but also from putting herself in error.  That is what the bishops are doing.  Nothing happens over night.  Look at how long it took to defend against the various heresies. 

    The Church must not and cannot let herself fall into error because of haste, regardless of what we as the People of God think.


  • Cardinal Ratzinger said what Cardinal Ratzinger said. 

    You ainta kiddin you’re coming from a different place. 

    Don’t worry—the Church isn’t going to fall into error.  God protects her. 

  • michigancatholic,

    “Cardinal Ratzinger said what Cardinal Ratzinger said.”

    Cardinal Ratzinger said abstain, not deny.

    Again, huge difference.  Look it up.

    So, my premise is still sound.  Where am I wrong?  I ask you to do that on this thread as well.