What Ratzinger really said about CINO politicians and Communion

What Ratzinger really said about CINO politicians and Communion

As usual big stories break when I’m away from my computer. This past weekend, Cardinal Ratzinger’s actual letter to the US bishops got out, andan of Colorado Springs, who have said they will deny the Eucharist to pro-abortion Catholic politicians. (The full letter is available at L’Espresso’s web site.) Yes, he says, bishops should talk privately with them first and warn them they should not receive Communion, but he goes further:

“When these precautionary measures have not had their effect…and the person in question, with obstinate persistence, still presents himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, the minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it.”

There’s no prevarication or slippery language there. Straightforward and to the point: The minister must refuse.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
20 comments
  • I just wish bishops would start sitting down with pro-abortion politicians, or at least start inviting them to sit down, instead of everybody on either side bubbling about procedures.  It also wouldn’t hurt if bishops or somebody competent started articulating in depth the teaching of the Church on abortion and the situations a politician or voter may find himself in, e.g., the move in the UK to change the limits on abortion but still permitting the practice, or two pro-abortion candidates but one with a less enthusiastic stance for the practice (e.g., the last gubernatorial contest in Massachusetts).  If leaders in and out of the hierarchy started articulating these things we would be less likely, I think, all of us, to take refuge in “ignorance.”  These teachings aren’t mysteries, though we’re treating them that way.

  • From McCarrick:  “I would emphasize that Cardinal Ratzinger clearly leaves to us as teachers, pastors and leaders WHETHER to pursue this path.”

    From Ratzinger:  “When e, the proportionality argument comes into play.  In this case, GWB is a FAR ‘better’ pro-abort than is Kerry….and there may be other valid reasons to vote FOR GWB, such as integrity.

  • “Proportionate Reasons” I believe Card. Ratzinger is saying if there is a case of no pro-life candidates (with a reasonable expectation to win)then go to the 2nd tier of social issues and weigh them.
    Again Fr. Stephen Torraco has provided a “Brief Catechism for Catholic Voters” at [url=http://www.EWTN.com]http://www.EWTN.com[/url] go to “voters resources”. He goes through an array of scenarios and gives the morally permissible answer to some difficult situations.

  • Mr. Bettinelli,

    This is a great example of what I was talking about earlier in my posting about obedience.  We were to be obedient to the particular local bishop until there was clarification from the Holy See “trumping” this decision.  In my estimation that has taken place.

    There has been clarification from the Holy See on this matter and I am in total agreement with what Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger has to say, precisely because he is the compitent authority on the matter and it is this teaching that I must assent my will to.

    However, even Cardinal Ratzinger cautions us by saying, “This decision, properly speaking, is not a sanction or a penalty. Nor is the minister of Holy Communion passing judgement on the person just and quite funny he was caught, if you want to know the truth. 

    I think he’d ought to have his BUTT KICKED. 

  • I’m a parent-to-be, and I can understand it. I, too, would not leave my child alone with someone accused of sexual abuse, unless that person is fully acquitted. That is common sense.

    But that doesn’t mean I’ll vilify him publicly (which is not what you are doing, Dominic, so please do not take this as directed towards you). Nothing that I’m saying is controversial. If people are wise, they might be more circumspect when it comes to these matters rather than so willing to believe accusations. I have seen much of this in the blogosphere, and much of this, of course, in the secular media. It’s part of human nature; it’s what we do. We automatically raise an eyebrow when we hear of an allegation, and secretly (and in many cases openly) think less of the one accused before all the evidence is in. This may be well and good for a person who stands at a distance, but it is not fine when you are on the receiving end of a false accusation.

    My attitude also comes from personal experience, as I’ve noted on my blog—I staunchly defended a female friend of mine who accused an acquaintance of raping her—only to find out a year later that she fudged the facts and actually consented to having sex, and that he was not to blame. I learned my lesson from that—listen to both sides of the story before concluding another is guilty.

    Any fairminded human being could understand that.

  • But what is incomprehensible to me is that the Church has routinely allowed priests credibly accused of sexual abuse to continue to have access to kids.  Anyone accused of anything is due due process.  But if the welfare of children is of primary importance (It is.), then accused molestors should be removed from children pronto.

    Sadly, the welfare of children has NOT been of primary importance for the sad people leading our Church.

  • Cam,

    This is where we disagree. I don’t think disagreeing with the local bishop on the interpretation of canon law or his duty as a bishop and pastor is disobedience. If I were to advocate that priests and laypeople ignore the bishop’s lawful commands, then that would be disobedience.

  • Ya know,  perhaps Cardinal Dulles has it right.  In reading a link that is associated with this.

    Cardinal Dulles says, “In that situation, the priest has limited options. Often, to avoid an ugly scene that would disrupt the ceremony, the priest will feel obliged not to refuse Communion. In the absence of some formal decree excluding a person from the sacraments, most priests will be very cautious about turning Catholics away at the altar.

    The primary responsibility rests on those asking for Communion to examine themselves regarding their dispositions, as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 11:27-29. Only God can know with certitude the state of the communicant’s soul at the moment.”

    This is in response to the following question: “What should a priest do when confronted with a publicly dissenting politician who appears in the Communion line?”

    Cardinal Dulles also says, “In moral theology an important distinction is made between ordering or performing an action and cooperating in the action of another. Where the cooperation is remote, its influence on the effect may be very slight.

    To vote for an appropriations bill that includes some provisions for funding abortions would not be so gravely sinful as to warrant excommunication under Canon 1398. The vote might arguably be licit if the funding for abortion were only incidental and could not be removed from a bill that was otherwise very desirable.

    The legal problem about abortion in the United States does not come primarily from legislators but from the judiciary, which interprets the Constitution as giving a civil entitlement to abortion practically on demand. This interpretation of the Constitution, we believe, is erroneous and should be corrected.”

    This is in response to the question, “Some observers wonder why canon law stipulates excommunication for a woman who has an abortion—under certain conditions—yet doesn’t apply the same penalty to a politician whose votes might help to finance thousands of abortions. Is there a loophole in canon law?”

    I think that, from a theological standpoint, Cardinal Dulles and Cardinal Ratzinger agree when Cardinal Ratzinger says, “This decision, properly speaking, is not a sanction or a penalty. Nor is the minister of Holy Communion passing judgement on the person/p>

    Disagreeing with the bishop

    “I don’t agree that Kerry should receive Communion”

    Being disobedient

    ” why should anyone be obedient to a man who is a blatant liar” and of course “I think het on the issue of ‘obeying’ a bishop.  My point was that we aren’t required to!  It’s others on this and other threads who seem to believe that we must always obey what our bishop (or the Americans bishops) tell(s) us.  We don’t have to, and in many cases, we shouldn’t. 

    In fact, given the nature of things such as this (and the molestation scandal) – I think we should be very careful about any ‘moral’ guidance we are ‘provided’ from the American bishops.

    Bottom line:  I don’t trust many of them – and they’ve given us manifold reasons not to.  I think many of these ‘men’ are heavily compromised by various forms of evil.

  • Let me try again:  In exactly what respect is Cardinal McCarrick asking Sinner to obey him?  I just don’t see the issue coming up, unless, as I said, Sinner is a priest or eucharistic minister in the Archdiocese of Washington. 

    (If Sinner is saying more generally that there is no obligation to obey a bad bishop, then he’s simply wrong.  After all, even if your parents were liars, you still were obligated to obey them, unless they were commanding you to do something sinful.  Bishops aren’t absolute despots, and thus can’t just order their subjects to do whatever they want us to do.  They can’t, for example, command that we join the Knights of Columbus, and they may not insist that we send our children to the diocesan high school.  But they do have a certain sphere of authority, and within that sphere obedience is commanded by the fourth commandment, no matter how bad the bishop is.)

  • Sinner said, in reference to Cardinal McCarrick, “But I am not required to be obedient to some two-bit lying cardinal.”  I just don’t see how the question of obedience or disobedience to Cdl. McCarrick even comes up.

  • Sinner

    This is way too funny.  I had a side bet with Camilam putting an over/under on how long it would be that someone would post something about “sodomizing boys”.  I put the over/under at 5 posts past Camilam’s last one. 

    Camilam its officially a push

    I put the over/under at 5 posts

  • I heard from this teenager too, personally, and I reminded him that the central issue here is not Fr. Clay’s actual guilt or innocence. That has not yet been determined officially. The fact is, he is under suspension by his home diocese, and Father Hawkins went outside the established channels to get him into his parish. Father Clay might be entirely innocent, but that doesn’t change the fact that Father Hawkins deliberately deceived the Fort Worth diocese about this matter, violating the Charter and setting the diocese up for major legal liability if his judgment about Father Clay were to be proven tragically wrong.

    That’s the issue.

  • Jaime –

    I’m truly sorry that you can’t see the connection between these things.  Truly.

    For me and (so, so) many others, it’s part and parcel of the same evil infection.

    When I think my children (and other children) are safe, physically and spiritually and morally, from the incredibly morally corrupt leaders of our Church, I will stop bringing it up.  For a bizillion reasons, I don’t think that right now.

    I know my thoughts bug you.

    My concern for my and others’ Catholic children – in terms of their souls and physical and moral well-being,as well as the future of the Church – far outweighs my concern about your distress.

    And hey – if you and Camilam find joy in your little betting game – go for it. 

  • Sinner

    You’re apologizing for my inability to connect the dots?  Save it.  Its meaningless.  You want to apologize for your own actions?  Go right ahead.  Otherwise you’re just being rude. 

    Can I connect the dots?  Yup.  Child molesting priests…. bishops that cover things up… both bad.  Figured out that one long before I found this site.

    Couple of questions though.  If you have a bizillion (I’m gonna assume that’s a lot) reasons for why your children aren’t safe, how about bringing up a few other ones?  Maybe its really only one.  I’ll give you this, its a really good one!! 

    Do your thoughts bug me?  No Sinner, criminey we both believe the same thing.  Everyone here believes the same thing.  John Flippin Kerry agrees with you.  No more abusing our children. 

    “My concern for my and others, we are called to do this in private, not in public.”

    Wrong, Camilam.  When people molest our children and lie to us blatantly, we should publicly and harshly rebuke them.  They should feel the sear of societal disapproval.  Not so doing helped lead to the metastasis of the evil within the Church to begin with.

    “Have you ever thought that your own accept the fact that you and I might actually hold the same view.  (Shocker!!!!)  Which we do to a greater extent, rather than a lesser.

    Camilam

  • I’m watching with some amusement.  Cardinal McCarrick is going to be getting his comeuppance here pretty quick, I expect.  I think it won’t be very pretty.

    But if somehow he escapes it again because he’s so well hooked up, he’ll retire in a year or so, I hope, and then we’ll be able to file him wherever we filed Cardinal Whatsisname from Milwaukee.

    Here’s hoping that the Holy See has wide open eyes on this one and appoints someone without this particular set of problems….

  • Mr. Bettinelli,

    “For people like Sinner and me, the bishops arencomment_date>
    2004-07-08 03:59:34
    Are we not saying the same thing?

    No, we are not. I said: oliticians in public? You seem to be violating your own rule.

    Just like you, I’m not saying that I’m going to go around smacking the Eucharist out of the hands of priests who attempt to give it to pro-aborts. I’m airing my disagreement on their judgment and saying where I think they err.

  • Let me clarify something: I just spoke to Maria Orzel, spokeswoman for the Scranton diocese, and she points out that Fr. Clay is not under formal suspension from ministry; rather, in her words, “He was and is removed from public ministry pending outcome of the ongoing diocesan investigation.”

    I asked her what the difference was. She said that if he were “suspended,” that would mean that his priestly faculties were held in abeyance. That hasn’t happened. He has simply been required not to exercise them publicly.

    I apologize for the error, which was unintentional, and am pleased to set the record straight.

  • Mr. Bettinelli,

    “You seem to be violating your own rule.”

    No, I am doing it within the scope of how the Church wants it handled.  In a private forum.  By doing what I am doing, I am voicing my concerns, but I am doing as much by talking to him in a private manner. 

    Show me where we are to question the bishops openly, by Church law and I will change my view.  I have shown where we are to do this in private.  That is what I am doing.  I am not violating any rules.

    I am doing what any faithful Catholic should do if he disagrees with his Ordinary, questioning it, but I don’t advocate doing so publicly.  And neither does the Church.

    “Just like you, I_content>

    BTW, sorry for the double post…..

    “And what10:26:55 2004-07-06 14:26:55 What disturbs me about the attitude we seem to be taking towards these accused priests is the lack of due process afforded these men. I work in the legal profession, and due process is integral to justice. We know that a person remains innocent until proven guilty. This is why it strikes me as unjust to suspend a priest from any ministry because of an unproven accusation. After the accusation has been substantiated, then by all means, the priest should be removed from ministry. But not before.

    The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, recognizing this problem, decreed in December 2000: 7;m not a parent and I can understand it.

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