Opportunity

The ancient Greeks depicted Kairos, son of Zeus and the god of Opportunity, as as a young man with long hair streaming from his forehead but with shaved head behind. 

The idea is that Opportunity can only be seized when he runs up to you.

Once he moves by it’s too late.

Senator Biden says he accepts the Catholic Church’s teaching about when human life begins. Nevertheless, he votes and speaks in support of abortion.

Speaker Pelosi, though much confused, discounts what she says she studied of the Church’s teaching on the beginning of human life. In the place of that teaching she prefers Roe v Wade for her clarity and ethical starting points.  Her speaking and voting records are infamous.

In a recent FoxNews story I read about Speaker Pelosi’s response to CSPAN about how some Catholic bishops instruct some pro-abortion Catholics to avoid receiving Holy Communion. She talks about how the bishops where she lives haven’t instructed her to avoid receiving Communion:

“I think some of it is regional,” said Pelosi, whose district encompasses San Francisco, in a recent interview with C-SPAN. “It depends on the bishop of a certain region and, fortunately for me, Communion has not been withheld and I’m a regular Communicant, so that would be a severe blow to me if that were the case.”

Not being able to receive Holy Communion matters to Speaker Pelosi. 

She admits it would be "a severe blow" were her local pastors to say that she could not receive.

I assume Sen. Biden would say the same.

This suggests that were the Archbishops of Washington DC and of San Francisco, and the Bishop of Willmington, Delaware to tell Speaker Pelosi and Sen. Biden not to receive Communion until they correct their positions concerning life and abortion, their interventions could have a positive impact on their public positions in the long run, if not the short.

In some cases it takes a while for reality to sink in.

But it won’t ever sink in if the challenge is never raised.
 
Directions from bishops (such as "Don’t receive Communion until you change your stance.") are always meant to correct and cure, not to punish or humiliate. 

The bishops would be acting from charity for the good of souls and the faith of their flocks.

They would contribute to the correction of the public scandal politicians such as Sen. Biden and Rep. Pelosi have caused for many years already.

They seem to have no intention of stopping on their own. 

And we could add the names of many pro-abortion Catholics serving in elected positions.

Speaker Pelosi is one of the Catholic public figures creating the most scandal and confusion to other Catholics in the United States.  She took public scandal to a new level on Meet The Press last Sunday.  The same can now be said for Joseph Biden, the pro-abortion Catholic senator from Delaware, now that he will be his party’s Vice-Presidential candidate.

Public scandal on a grand scale requires equally public correction.

The bishops in the places where pro-abortion Catholic members of Congress have some form of domicile (including Washington DC) have an opportunity, right now, to exercise correction of members of their flocks who happen to be among the most influential figures in the United States regarding pro-life issues and attitudes. 

The present surge in media attention due to the election cycle guarantees an unparalleled opportunity to teach and to heal.

The bishops now stare Opportunity in the face.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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17 Responses to Opportunity

  1. Rose in NE says:

    They have not only the opportunity, but the duty to do so.

  2. Agreed on “duty”.

    Excellent commentary Fr. Z. I suspect that any such admonition, for these politicians to not present themselves will be happening behind closed doors. I’m not so sure that it shouldn’t happen publicly if they defy that admonition.

    Archbishop Nierdauer has said nothing thus far on his website, but a link to the USCCB statement is there. I do hope he is drafting something. It is hard to understand how so other bishops, such as Cardinal Egan, are speaking up, but not the bishop of her home diocese.

    I think it is instrumental that we now pray for our bishops more than ever. They need the kind of courage shown their predecessors who gave their lives for the sake of truth. What will they sacrifice to stand up for truth and to protect the Eucharist from sacrilege and the people from scandal? Their reputation? Their comfort level? Their popularity?

    Whatever the case may be for each individual bishop, it would be wise of us to spend time on our knees begging God for them to get the graces they need this election cycle. Need ideas:

    – 1 Hour of Adoration Weekly.
    – Daily Rosary.
    – Giving up something until Election Day.
    – Go to Mass during the week when you can.
    – Time spent reading scripture, offered up.
    – Visiting someone who is sick.

  3. prof. basto says:

    Due to this situation of episcopal intertia/ommission vis a vis the excution of the norms already issued by the Holy See on the matter — and given that the reception of Holy Communion by high-profile pro-abortion politicians such as Pelosi and Biden who call themselves Catholics is indeed a grave scandal — it would perhaps be wise if the Apostolic See issued decrees declaring by name certain politicians, such as Pelosi and Biden, excluded from Holy Communion.

    Just like excommunication is often declared/imposed vis a vis a particular person or group of people, so too denial of Holy Communion should in certain cases be formally imposed by decree on a certain person or group, in order to avoid doubt and to remove the excuse for omission.

  4. TNCath says:

    Once again, we have a bishop imprisoned in China for the Faith, and, across the ocean in “the land of the free and the home of the brave,” we can’t get the bishops of the United States to correct the errors of politicians claiming to be devout Catholics who think it is ok to receive Holy Communion despite their views. Shameful.

  5. Abp Wuerl has already stated publicly that he will not deny communion to anyone as that is not his “pastoral style”.

  6. TNCath,

    Exactly my point. They don’t even have to consider imprisonment for speaking out and taking action with regards to Communion, let alone death as their predecessors have.

    The few who have spoken though, will give other bishops courage. In recent decades you were glad to just hear something out of Archbishop Burke or Bishop Bruskewitz, among a few others. If you think traditional Catholics were treated like nutty aunt in the closet, I can attest to these fine men being treated the same way. Yet, they have shown some real guts and wisdom. Today we see more bishops willing to speak out. Then there are the “Mahonian class” bishops we never hear from, or we hear something confusing.

    I think this is just the beginning.

    Pray for our bishops!

  7. Brian says:

    Fr. Z,
    I pray that your respectful, truthful, and positive call to action will be shared with Bishops across the country, particularly in Washington, Wilmington, and San Francisco; and that the Bishops will have the prudence, wisdom, and courage to seize this Opportunity and act.
    Brian

  8. RBrown says:

    Abp Wuerl has already stated publicly that he will not deny communion to anyone as that is not his “pastoral style”.
    Comment by Meeting Christ in the Liturgy

    This problem should have been addressed by the US bishops long ago. A document on Eucharist doctrine that also contained the obligations of those receiving Communion should have been published long ago. That document should have alerted not only pro-abortion politicians but also anyone having sexual relations outside of marriage. After the publication of the document, it would be mandated that it be preached everywhere on a particular Sunday.

    Instead, the US bishops did nothing on this matter.

  9. mariadevotee says:

    While they are at it,our good Bishops should notice that Pelosi promoted birth control as a good at the end of the Brokaw interview. She needs correction on that issue as well.

  10. Hal Duston says:

    Also, KCK Archbishop Naumann has received editorial condemnation for similiar comments regarding KS Governor Kathleen Sebelius

    http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0802605.htm

  11. ckdexterhaven says:

    I pray that the Holy Spirit will give all American bishops a righteous dose of Spine-o-stiff, to cure some of them of their linguini spines. The bishops need our prayers now more than ever to have the courage to correct these wayward politicians. These pro-abort Catholic politicians also need our prayers that they are also moved by the Holy Spirit to change their hearts/minds. With God, all things are possible.

  12. Brian says:

    Fox News reports:

    In response to the barrage of criticism, Pelosi’s spokesman Brendan Daly issued a statement Tuesday, saying: “Her views on when life begins were informed by the views of Saint Augustine, who said: ‘the law does not provide that the act [abortion] pertains to homicide, for there cannot yet be said to be a live soul in a body that lacks sensation.'”

    “While Catholic teaching is clear that life begins at conception, many Catholics do not ascribe to that view,” Brady said.

    Please God, let Your Bishops respond decisively.

  13. Mary Jane says:

    I find it quite distressing that poor St. Augustine is being relied upon to bolster Ms. Pelosi’s arguments. Especially as his feast is coming up in a couple of days.

  14. This should have been your first entry regarding this affair, Father Zuhlsdorf.

  15. Patrick T says:

    In 1962 Archbishop Joseph Rummel of New Orleans, excommunicated 3 Catholics for their public opposition and work against desegregation. All our brave bishops need to do is act. They can declare these excommunications publically and draw the comparison to the precedent of Arch. Rummel.

    The time is now to set the Church in America on completely new course.

    Lord, give your holy apostles strength!

  16. Rudy B says:

    Wow. What a firestorm! And who said Benedict was simply a ‘transition’ pope! Don’t tell me he hasn’t influenced bishops – I only hope they have the courage to take the baton!

  17. Robert Medonis says:

    Wuerl while Bishop of Pittsburgh never said anything about the pro-abort “Catholic politicians in Western Pennsylvania in the 80’s and 90’s nor mandated that they not receive Communion. Cong. Coyne was 100% pro-abortion and he received Communion all the time at Pittsburgh’s St. Paul Cathedral if memory serves me right. Any other Pittsburghers please correct me on this if I am wrong.