PODCAzT 26: Augustine on the Alleluia; Catholic pro-abortion politicians & Communion,

In today’s PODCAzT I present an excerpt from St. Augustine’s commentary on Ps. 148. 

I also rant about Holy Communion and Catholic public figures who actively and concretely promote abortion.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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13 Responses to PODCAzT 26: Augustine on the Alleluia; Catholic pro-abortion politicians & Communion,

  1. Janet says:

    Fr,
    No one else has commented yet, so I’ll say Thanks for the podcazt! And I especially love St. Augustine. Every time I see him in the 2nd reading in my breviary it just makes my day so much nicer.
    God bless you, Father, and keep the podcasts coming!

  2. I am examining this difficult matter. I realize the canon means to deny a person who is manifestly continuing in a state of grave sin .. but. Here’s a situation: a politician who interiorly is against abortion but who is trying to choose that choice which will do the least evil and, hopefully, achieve whatever good is in a terrible situation. Apparently a bishop who gives Communion to a politician who, in the eyes of the public, is in sin, has judged that the politician is NOT manifestly continuing in grave sin but is trying for the good. This is badly worded but I think you get my meaning. I’ll keep praying and thinking. Thanks for what you do, Father. John

  3. Geometricus says:

    Father, I dig the bossa nova theme to this podcast. Appropriate now that the Pope is in Brazil. I wonder if among the other bad music he has to listen to there is the “Missa Bossa Nova”. We used to sing that at St. Raph’s back when I directed the “contemporary choir”. HA!

    Thank God for growth and change!

    I really enjoy listening to a rant of yours that is pretty much devoid of snark. Well done! I guess we all grow and change.

  4. RBrown says:

    I am examining this difficult matter. I realize the canon means to deny a person who is manifestly continuing in a state of grave sin .. but. Here’s a situation: a politician who interiorly is against abortion but who is trying to choose that choice which will do the least evil and, hopefully, achieve whatever good is in a terrible situation. Apparently a bishop who gives Communion to a politician who, in the eyes of the public, is in sin, has judged that the politician is NOT manifestly continuing in grave sin but is trying for the good. This is badly worded but I think you get my meaning. I’ll keep praying and thinking. Thanks for what you do, Father. John

    If you’re thinking and praying, I suggest you start with a text from St. Paul cited in Veritatis Splendor: “It is not licit to do evil that good may come of it” (cf. Rom 3:8).

    The lesser evil is never a good.

    IMHO, priests who give communion to pro abortion politicians have not “judged that the politican is . . . trying for the good.” Rather, they are simply being wishy washy. As the line goes: All you see in the middle of the road are dead armadillos and yellow stripes.

    The priest must imitate St Joseph, who is the Redemptoris Custos. And so each priest must be the Sacramenti Causa.

  5. RBrown says:

    Should be Sacramenti Custos.

  6. William says:

    How can it be that one “interiorly is against abortion” but not also exteriorly against abortion?

    I find it incomprehensible that people claim abortion to be a “difficult matter.” It is a fact that abortion is always the malicious premeditated destruction of a human life. Not only is this an evil and sinful act like all other murders, but in the special case of an unborn child, the killer consigns the child to an eternity of separation from God, i.e. to hell.

    Given these facts, there is no circumstance under which abortion is acceptable. Assume a pregnant woman is young, poor, and unmarried. Does killing her baby solve her problems?

    What about a mother of small children who becomes homeless and destitute. Is killing her small children an acceptable solution to her poverty?

    Does it make things better for a rape victim if I kill the rapists sister or mother? How does killing an innocent baby bring justice?

    What if a pregnant woman’s life is endangered by her pregnancy? How can you say that this woman’s life is more important than that of the baby? How can you say that this woman’s life is more important than the salvation of the child’s immortal soul?

    It seems clear that those who waffle about the so-called “pros and cons” of abortion or who consider it “a difficult question” are those who have bought in to a rationalistic, economic view of the value of human life. A view in which the value of human life is reduced to the economic value of the person. A view completely divorced from the revealed truth that every human person consists of not only an earthly body, but also of an immortal soul created in the image and likeness of God.

  7. William: The fact remains that it is truly a “difficult question” for some people. There are young women who are poor, abandoned, alone, terrified, feeling as if they are trapped. They seek abortions because they are hopeless. this is a very different situation from, for example, politicians who in cold political calculation promote abortion. There are clinicians who, for no other reason than profit, perform abortions. Abortion is always an evil, but every time there are different circumstances.

  8. William says:

    Father,

    I am not denying that some women might feel it is a solution to their problem.

    I am pointing out that, regardless of their feelings, it is not an acceptable option from a catholic point of view. I do not agree that there is room for debate among catholics on this issue. Catholics cannot be conflicted on this issue whether they are politicians or priests.

    This recognition informs the question of what pastoral approach priests and bishops should take in concrete circumstances, but it is actually a separate issue.

    In my opinion, one of the biggest problems today with regards to the sacrament is that too many people, priests included, feel that heretics and apostates somehow have a “right” to holy communion, and that denying them is “wrong.”

  9. William: This will NOT be a ping pong thing about abortion. Period. No one misunderstands that abortion is a sin. You don’t need to point that out to anyone here.

    The real point is that exclusion from Communion is one thing while incurring formal excommunication is entirely another. They must NOT be confused. That is the point.

  10. Patrick says:

    That’s Cat! (Remember that cartoon from the 70s?) Thank you for all the podcazts. They are all immensely informative – and with beauty and the Light of God.

  11. Stu says:

    Father,

    I like the podcasts very much. Not only are the reading good but the commentary is also valued added. I really enjoy the bumper music you are using as well. If it’s not too much to ask, would you be so kind as to list the music you are using for each podcast?

    Many thanks.

    Stu

  12. Nathan says:

    +JMJ

    Greetings, Father—I just listened to the podcast today during my lunch (I’ll refrain from describing it, let’s just say the frozen pot pie does not compare with your meal descriptions) and enjoyed it as usual. Wow, one doesn’t appreciate the depth of thought and spirituality in St. Augustine until you hear it spoken. I’m trying (and faltering, I must admit) to say the Little Office of the BVM (in Latin) daily, and I certainly do not approach the psalms in the way St. Augustine does—with him along, you could meditate for hours simply upon the final three psalms of Lauds.

    Do you recommend preparing to pray the office with the bossa nova? Oh, and I wish that when I rant at my children I would follow the way you “rant” about politicians and Holy Communion—calmly, reasonably, and controlled.

    In Christ,

  13. Nathan: Do you recommend preparing to pray the office with the bossa nova?

    So far that has not been my method. It does reignite a variation on an old question, however: can you listen to a bossa nova or, better, dance a bossa nova while saying the Office or, contrarily, ought one rather pray the Office while doing a bossa nova. It’s a matter of logical priority, you see.

    Hmmmm…. certainly other faith traditions will have some wisdom to shed on this, though we ought to avoid the Presbyterians on this matter, I think.

    One second thought, I withdraw the question.