“Clarifications” from Archbp. Wuerl! Priests of Washington DC preach on human life

I received a copy of a letter sent out by His Excellency Most Reverend Donal Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, DC to the priests of the Archdiocese.

It is, I believe, his response to the remarks of Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Meet The Press on Sunday 24 August.

The Archbishop speaks of what St. Augustine said, what the Catholic Church teaches, what science indicates and what the duties of pastors of the Church are regarding preaching the sanctity of life.

I hope you would consider using this Sunday’s liturgy as an opportune time to present to the Catholic faithful of this archdiocese a number of elements of our Catholic faith. …

This is an opportune time simply to reaffirm with all of our Catholic faithful and others who may be interested in what the Church has to say that abortion is and has always been considered a serious evil, that the destruction of innocent human life at any stage is wrong and that it is the task entrusted to the bishops of the Church to proclaim and whatn necessary clarify this constant teaching.

Bishops like the word "opportune".

But never was there a time more opportune than this!

Here is the letter, which I am too tired to transcribe.  People send me stuff by pdf file when what I need are pdfs and transcripts! … sigh

 

Gigantic WDTPRS kudos to Archbishp Wuerl!

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18 Responses to “Clarifications” from Archbp. Wuerl! Priests of Washington DC preach on human life

  1. Jason says:

    Yes, I was thinking today that this has really been a teaching moment. I already knew what the Church teaches on abortion, of course, but I was glad to see St. Augustine the Fathers defended and their writings placed into context.

  2. Jason says:

    Correction: *St. Augustine and the Fathers

  3. Antiquarian says:

    He’s taken his hits lately– for the Nationals’ Stadium Mass and his earlier statements on politicians and communion– but it’s nice to know that Archbishop Wuerl has risen to the occasion. I have heard him preach several times since he came to DC, and I like him and what he has had to say. Some of the vitriol spewed in his direction has been very unfair, I think.

  4. qfnol31 says:

    Huh…I wish I had known about this letter when I saw him for Mass that day.

    No matter, I’ll make my opinion known in a week. Thanks Father Z! :)

  5. TNCath says:

    I too applaud and support Archbishop Wuerl’s “clarifications,” but I can’t help but wonder…Back a little more than a year ago, His Excellency was asked if he would tell priests and deacons to refuse Speaker Pelosi Holy Communion based on her erroneous opinions on abortion. To this the archbishop said, “You’re talking about a whole different style of pastoral ministry. No thank you.” Has Archbishop Wuerl’s “style of pastoral ministry” since changed or would he still not refuse Holy Communion to Speaker Pelosi. I STILL think Cardinal’s Egan’s statement is the best so far!

  6. I made reference to the inaccuracy of Speaker Pelosi’s public comments in my homily, and had a parishioner come to me after Mass and say, “Nice homily, Father, but leave the politics out of it.” What made Catholics get so “gunshy”? Prosperity?

  7. Chironomo says:

    Fr. Jay said:

    What made Catholics get so “gunshy”?

    Perhaps it is less “gun-shy” than that they too hold political positions that contradict the teachings of the Church. I would hope that, being a devout Catholic, Speaker Pelosi attends Mass this weekend in Washington and is forced to uncomfortably confront the conflict between her opinions and the teachings of the Church she claims as her own. Speaker Pelosi is not unique in this, and it is possible, Fr. Toborowsky, that you simply were confronted by another such parishioner.

    On another but related note, it is so heartening to hear Bishops talk about the need to be obedient to the Magisterium, and the centrality of the Pope as authority within the Church… if only they thought such on all matters….

  8. Jordanes says:

    “Nice homily, Father, but leave the politics out of it.”

    Translation: I hated your homily, and I’m a staunch supporter of the Democratic Party.

    Good, effective homilies are never “nice.” I he really appreciated what you had to say, he’d have said something more positive or effusive in praise.

  9. Fr. J T: It may be that don’t make distinctions, for whatever reason.

    Even when you are, in fact, “leaving politics out of it”, they conclude that you have political aims in a sermon because you are speaking to moral issues. The divide between parties/candidate often come down on either side of the Church’s position and conclusions from natural law.

    You say, in the pulpit, “We must not support the direct and intentional killing of the unborn” and they conclude “He is saying don’t vote for Joe Bagodonuts.”

  10. Ted Krasnicki says:

    Thank you Father for this post. The text is a bit hard to read but still readable. I am so glad that finally we are seeing some serious pastoral concerns from many of our bishops over the heresy that some of our prominent politicians are “preaching” to the faithful.

    In reference to your comment about needing transcripts along with the pdfs, perhaps what you and others reading this post need is a simple tool to convert pdfs to plain text, html, or doc. There are quite a few such software tools available, some even free.

    Free ones are tools such as Free PDF to Word Doc Converter, Easy PDF to Text Converter, or Free PDF Text Reader, all available at CNET’s http://www.download.com. Try them all if you have the time and remove the ones you do not like.

    Conversions take just a few seconds, and the converted text can be copied and pasted directly to a web/blog or any other text type page.

  11. TNCath says:

    Fr Z: “Even when you are, in fact, “leaving politics out of it”, they conclude that you have political aims in a sermon because you are speaking to moral issues. The divide between parties/candidate often come down on either side of the Church’s position and conclusions from natural law.”

    Apparently this doesn’t apply only to the average Catholic in the pew. This also applies to bishops who “do not wish to politicize the Eucharist.” As long as we still have bishops out there (mine included) who are not going to come forward as Archbishops Burke, Chaput, and a growing number of others have, Catholics are still going to think this is a “regional issue,” a la Speaker Pelosi and a matter of opinion rather than doctrine. Some might say, “Well the USCCB said…” Well, I daresay the majority of Catholics have no clue who or what the USCCB is. They will, however, be aware that THEIR bishop has said something.

  12. RBrown says:

    I too applaud and support Archbishop Wuerl’s “clarifications,” but I can’t help but wonder…Back a little more than a year ago, His Excellency was asked if he would tell priests and deacons to refuse Speaker Pelosi Holy Communion based on her erroneous opinions on abortion. To this the archbishop said, “You’re talking about a whole different style of pastoral ministry. No thank you.” Has Archbishop Wuerl’s “style of pastoral ministry” since changed or would he still not refuse Holy Communion to Speaker Pelosi. I STILL think Cardinal’s Egan’s statement is the best so far!
    Comment by TNCath

    Was there anything in his statement about Communion.

    I always wonder whether there are any situations when those with Abp Wuerl’s “style of pastoral ministry” would advise anyone not to go to Communion.

    And I think there is a relationship between the aforementioned “style of pastoral ministry” and the general lack of availability of the Sacrament of Confession in most US parishes.

  13. Too bad the rector at the Archbishop’s own Cathedral decided to ignore him and preach on appreciating the workers on Labor Day instead.

  14. >>>”don’t vote for Joe Bagodonuts.”<<<

    I’m having this vision in my head of some campaign commercial on TV that has the tagline at the end, “I’m Joe Bagodonuts, and I approved this message.”

  15. Alan says:

    As I recall, Archbishop Wuerl was in an interview just before B16′s visit and he took an absolutely weak and ineffective stance on dealing with pro-choice politicians who try to recieve Holy Communion. He gave some lame answer about not knowing their conscience and therefore wouldn’t deny them.

  16. anonymouse says:

    Yes, I was also in attendance at the Cathedral, at which the homilist ignored all of the readings for Sunday, except for mentioning one line of the Gospel once, if my memory serves. The entire sermon was about Labor Day and there was no mention of the unborn whatsoever.

  17. Shan Gill says:

    Here in Olympia, in the Archdiocese of Seattle, the Archbishop had a bulletin insert prepared and distributed in defense of life against the upcoming initiative promoting “assisted suicide”. Good Fr. Jim, before Mass, spoke on the importance of life from beginning to end, and he again made mention during the homily.

    I realize that the Archbishop and the rest of the clergy walk a fine line in defense of life, while keeping out of the political waters. So I appreciated the fact that the Archbishop spoke out on this matter, and the elegant way Fr. Jim handled it. It was a very good thing to behold.

  18. RBrown says:

    As I recall, Archbishop Wuerl was in an interview just before B16’s visit and he took an absolutely weak and ineffective stance on dealing with pro-choice politicians who try to recieve Holy Communion. He gave some lame answer about not knowing their conscience and therefore wouldn’t deny them.
    Comment by Alan

    I have to wonder whether Archbishop Wuerhl’s comments are just the episcopal version of what Pelosi is saying.