NCR: Former Vatican ambassador thinks bishops shouldn’t speak out

From the utra-dissenting National Catholic Reporter… an editorial.  My emphases and comments:

Politicizing Communion harms interests of the church
Mar. 26, 2009
By THOMAS PATRICK MELADY

It was only a few decades ago that no one questioned a fellow Catholic’s decision either to receive or not to receive the Eucharist. This tradition has been slowly and regrettably  [he sets the table here] compromised over the past 20 years. Holy Communion has become, in some circles, a political football.  [Is he reducing the Communion to a political issue?  It sounds like it.]

The trend is unmistakable:

    * The vice president of the United States was told by the bishop of his native city that he should not present himself for Communion there. The full body of the U.S. bishops at its general meeting in November 2007 approved an election guide called “Faithful Citizenship” intended for all U.S. Catholics. However, the bishop of the vice president’s diocese said he did not regard it as “official.”  [Well.. it isn’t… not in the sense that it overrides a bishop’s authority in his diocese.  Bishops have the obligation to guide their flocks and protect them from scandal which public figures act against the clear teaching and discipline of the Church.]
    * A former Republican official is circulating a petition among Catholics urging all bishops to bar Gov. Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas, President Obama’s nominee to head the Department of Health and Human Services, from receiving Communion in every diocese in the country, including Washington.  [Has the Gov. of KS become known for certain positions against the teachings of the Church even though she says she is Catholic?]
    * Most recently, disturbing statements have been made severely criticizing the archbishop of Washington and the bishop of Arlington, Va., because they refuse to politicize the Eucharist. [Yes… Melady is viewing the Eucharist only as a political tool.  That is clearly his dominant hermeneutic.]  A few individuals claiming to be “courageous and dedicated Catholics” have publicly criticized these two fine shepherds for allegedly violating their responsibilities to respect the sanctity of holy Communion. How disappointing it is when there is every appearance that the motives of those criticizing these bishops are political.  [HUH?  Melady is the one reducing this to politics!]

I’ve had some personal experience with those who question the motives instead of the ideas of their political opponents.

In the early stages of the 2008 presidential election, a few of us noticed the bitter tones being used by some Catholics to describe several prominent candidates. They were openly referred to as “baby killers.” A friend and I coauthored a statement on civility, which called on both sides of the partisan aisles to be frank, candid and forceful in their analysis of the candidates, emphasizing, however, that a respectful tone ought to be used in presenting their findings in the public square.

The statement was warmly greeted by many, though my wife Margaret (who authored a book on Pope John Paul II) and I were publicly informed by one rabid partisan that we were “damned to hell” for advocating civility in the discussion of these issues.

I fear that the situation is getting out of control. Many had hoped that once the presidential elections took place, Republicans, especially Catholic Republicans, would practice engagement with the Obama administration and those on the other side of the political aisle [Still filtering this question through the lens of politics….] — that we would present our ideas without the rabid emotionalism that serves only to question the integrity of our opponents. [So… the people he doesn’t like don’t reason, they emote.]  Our role, in the best traditions of a pluralistic democracy, would be that of the loyal opposition.

Pope Benedict XVI modeled this sort of behavior when he met in mid-February with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Catholic who favors abortion rights. The Holy Father spoke clearly and candidly in calling the Speaker’s attention to the responsibilities of Catholic public officials to support Catholic teachings on life. There was no mention of not being allowed to receive Communion[And she wasn’t there for a Mass, either.  And why should the Holy Father do her bishops’s job for them.  Isn’t that is why there are bishop?  Shouldn’t the Holy Father apply subsidiarity also?]

Likewise, when Benedict visited the United States last year, a few partisan activists wanted the Holy Father to forbid a select few Catholic members of Congress who attended the papal Mass from receiving the Eucharist. That, of course, did not occur[Perhaps it should have?]

As a lifelong Republican, I am concerned by the actions of a few party activists who claim that the Republican Party is the only party appropriate for Catholics. Their method has been to involve a few Catholic prelates in criticizing Democratic candidates. [It might be that those people aren’t actually trying to politicize this.] This small group of lay Catholic Republicans is actively campaigning to pressure the bishops with petitions to ban certain high Democratic officials from receiving Communion. This is not their responsibility.  [Well… every Catholic is obliged to try, within the bonds of his vocation and ability, to prevent abuse of the Eucharist.  It is everyone’s responsibility, out of charity, to help prevent people from going to Hell from neglect, from sins of ommission or commission through respect for the principles of fraternal correction.]

Bishops, like all citizens, have the right and duty to engage in public debate on all issues. [Again… when bishops speak about Holy Communion, they are not speaking on a political issue.]  But the activity of a very few is harming the influence of a majority of bishops who are seeking to engage the opposition in a civil manner.  [This sounds like what the Italians call "buonismo".] When these actions are combined with those of a few lay Catholics who use the church’s teachings to achieve political goals, it harms the long-term interests of the church[Does it not harm the long-term interest of souls simply to ignore the issue of scandal and defiance of the Church’s teaching on the part of very public Catholic figures?]
 
I suggest that we carefully study and follow the official position of the U.S. Catholic bishops as pronounced in their November 2007 statement on “Faithful Citizenship.”  [Study away!  That document does not limit the rights and duties of bishops.  Let’s avoid the trap of turning the conference into something that it is not.]

Further, I urge all American Catholics to look to the inspiration of Pope John Paul II.  The Holy Father was very clear on the teachings of the church when it came to the life issues and to questions of marriage.  [Pope John Paul II promulgated the 1983 Code of Canon Law, which includes can. 915.] He was, however, never uncivil or negative in describing individuals who were not following the teachings of Christ in these matters.  [Have any of those bishops who have taken steps in regard to pro-abortion Catholics been uncivil?]

He set a high standard for civility and human decency. It is one we should all aim to emulate.

Dr. Thomas Patrick Melady is the former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican. He was also ambassador to Burundi and Uganda. The president emeritus of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., he also served in the administrations of three Republican presidents.

 

NCR is only interesting in what a Republican says when he agrees with their positions.

NCR: Former Vatican ambassador thinks bishops shouldn’t speak out
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54 Responses to NCR: Former Vatican ambassador thinks bishops shouldn’t speak out

  1. I guess we know who the Republican is trying to get the Holy See to shut Archbishop Burke up!!!!

  2. Steve K. says:

    So I guess the speculation over the identity of the GOP-affiliated person sent to talk to the Vatican about Abp. Burke is at an end.

  3. Claudine says:

    Since the death of Pius the Great, bigots and pseudo-historians have been combing thru records trying to connect the Church with the Nazi Holocaust.
    A picture of a bishop standing next to someone with an armband or a camp capo who it can be shown was baptised is enough to indict the Church and the Holy Father.

    Should this day of ours be looked at with similar contempt a century from now,imagine how much easier will be the job of those who hate the Church.

    Why didn’t the bishops speak out?
    Why did they continue to receive communion?
    Why did Catholics vote for this?
    Why did the leaders of the Culture of Death speak at Catholic College Commencements?

  4. Steve K. says:

    Well he does give the game away – it’s all politics to him, and *Republicans* are behind it! Oh ye of little faith.

  5. Chris says:

    I worked with Melady years ago. I can tell you the man is a total squish and only interested in self advancement. He’s the typical post-Conciliar liberal disquised as a Republican conservative.

  6. Chris M says:

    Didn’t Marx call people like this “useful idiots”?

  7. Marcin says:

    I sense a rise of the “Spirit of USCCB Conference” as embodied in unread Statement on Faithful Citizenship. Are we witnessing an emergence of yet another Catholic myth?

  8. memoriadei says:

    I am so disgusted with dissenting Catholics. Why can’t they just go to one of the 30,000 denominations that suits them better. And, this totally disgusts me that Archbishop Burke was set up and more disgusted that even faithful Catholics think it was ok to do that by Terry. Pitting the best Archbishop out there (and Chaput) against brother bishops just irks me to no end.

  9. Paul Haley says:

    Evidently, he has an improper understanding of the Eucharist and the necessity to protect and defend it in the face of scandal and sacrilege. I would venture a guess that he views all things from a political perspective. Am I ever glad he is the former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican.

  10. RBrown says:

    Thomas Melady misses the point.

    It is not that they are politicians, but rather that they are public figures who have taken public pro abortion stances–and have voted to promote abortions. This issue is only politicized because they happen to be politicians.

    Anyone who is running a local Planned Parenthood franchise also should not receive Communion.

    He is a political scientist who is not wise enough to know that he is out of his league in theological matters.

  11. Chris says:

    memoriadei has the right idea.

    we all need to realize that numbers do not matter — the Faith matters. Who cares if we have a billion heretics in the Church? Give me one million true Catholics practicing the pre-Conciliar Faith and Theology and I’m fine with that.

    once we realize there’s only a remnant left, then we can truly take an account of where we are and begin to rebuild with the people who matter.

  12. DarkKnight says:

    Error: Please enter the anti-spam word.

    Copy your comment in case this site forces a page reload whenever you press the Back button:

    I have not achieved the high degree of theological training, so perhaps I do not appreciate the subtleties involved.

    I do know that we have Saints that were martyred rather than suffer the desecration of a single Host. There was a time when even young boys understood His importance and no amount of physical assault would allow the boy to give Him up even to the point of death.

    How far we have come in 2000 years! We now apparently value dialog, engagement, civility and hospitality over sanctity of the divine.

    It is not a political issue at all. However, candor does demand that we recognize that we do have one party which believes in using the powers of government to:
    1. Forbid the exercise of private conscience within the confines of one\’s profession;
    2. Forbid the public commemoration of the Savior’s birth;
    3. Forbid the expression of the Christian thought present in the founding of the country;
    4. Force citizens to pay for morally reprehensible acts against their conscience;
    5. Force the slaughter of unborn children of other countries against the morals of the host countries;
    6. Farm human embryos for the greater glory of science;
    7. Limit the rights of parents to instill the family’s values in their children;
    8. Redefine Natural Law as it applies to the sacrament of marriage, proper expression of the marital act, the procreation of children, the proper environment for raising children and
    9. Limit the rights of parents to ensure quality and appropriate access to medical care for their children.

    Aside from those “few” issues, a Catholic can affiliate with any party in good conscience. However, one political party has erected a barrier between practicing Catholics and bracing said party. A barrier higher than any wall ever meant to separate Church and State.

    I haven’t enjoyed the fruits of a higher education that this man has. I know nothing at all.

  13. tjtl says:

    Melady writes, “It was only a few decades ago that no one questioned a fellow Catholic’s decision either to receive or not to receive the Eucharist.”

    I’m only in my early 20s so I would not have any personal knowledge of whether “only a few decades ago that no one questioned a fellow Catholic’s decision either to receive or not to receive the Eucharist.”

    For as long as I can remember people have questioned whether other Catholics should receive, so I find it odd that in the past, this was not done. Could anyone actually confirm what Melady writes about the past, either about the reception of Communion by Catholics in general or politicians in particular?

  14. Kevin L says:

    You can not truly expect an ambassador which is an entirely political animal to change its spots… It would be like the CEO of Coke Cola issuing a press release stating that the only soft drink worth drinking is Dr. Pepper.
    Consider the source folks. This is as news worthy and shocking as a New York Times front page Banner exclaiming “RAIN IS WET”.
    To expect any thing less than this type of drivel from these two sources is to expect frogs to fly.

  15. paul says:

    I just read the Roman Catechism and it is striking how it speaks about the Holy Eucharist. To get right to the point- that catechism really emphasizes how important it is to prepare well for Holy Communion- even advising married couples to abstain from relations 3 days prior to receiving Communion. It is a terrible thing to receive Holy Communion unworthily.

  16. Peggy says:

    I want to know how that dialogue and engaging in debate with Obama have been going so far? Let’s see. Mexico City reversed; no moral guidelines for ESCR (nor a clear prohibition on cloning it appears); predetermined plans to scrap conscience protection for doctors not willing to perform abortions. Not one pro-abortion Catholic in Obie’s cadre of Catholics has attempted to engage in softening the policies and intents of this administration. They don’t want to.

  17. John Polhamus says:

    God Save Pope Benedict XVI. Our Lady of Victories, intercede for him.

  18. ckdexterhaven says:

    I want proof that this guy is a Republican. Not buying it. He wants to keep the tone civil, yet refers to an opponent of Barack Obama as “rabid”. Nice.

    I live in Raleigh, and am in the process of changing parishes. I never thought I would be one of those dreaded parish hoppers, but here I am. My priest in North Raleigh, said nothing!! before the election. If you landed from Mars, and came to our church, you wouldn’t have known there was an election coming up. Fr. X has disagreed with George Bush on the war on Terror in a homily (or three), and has proudly proclaimed that no one “knows his political views”. Well, guess what, Fr.X… I don’t care what your political views are.. BUT I want to know that my priest thinks the most radical pro abortion candidate (who voted 4 times in favor of infanticide) is a horrible choice to lead our nation! The Sunday after the election, nothing. I kept thinking to myself, what if I was a pro choice Catholic sitting in the pews here? What would a pro choice voter have heard from Father X that would make them think that was morally wrong? This is the year of St. Paul, if there were ever a time for priests to be speaking out about this it would be now!!

    God led us to a new parish where we have a display out front of the church with 3000 flags representing the babies lost to abortion every day. This new priest is a man of great fortitude, he is truly a shepherd. There are Obama stickers in the parking lot,but these people are hearing from Father Y, that a faithful Catholic has to stand for life.

    What was the whole point of my above rant? This situation is roiling the Church. Bishops can’t remain silent, because we sheep need to be shepherded! We live in a 24 hour news cycle. American Catholics are torn up about this situation. 50% of Catholics voted for Obama, they need Bishops and priests to guide them and save.their.souls!!

  19. Carolinian Paladin says:

    “Melady doth protest too much.”

    May God protect our nation from the likes of all who seek to destroy life at its most vulnerable.

  20. LouisianaCatholic says:

    Well, obviously, someone did not give Cardinal Dinardo of Houton-Galveston the memo that the former Vatican Ambassador gave officials in Rome. According to another blog that I frequent, Cardinal Dinardo has know publicly crticized Notre Dame’s decision to invite the “annointed one”. As Fr. Z says, “brick by brick”.

    Ciao

  21. RichR says:

    Insightful commentary. FrZ, your “slavishly accurate translations” apply to these types of posts, too. What do I mean? You are informed enough to be able to read between the lines and “translate” for us what is really going on.

    WDTPRS = What did the Politician REALLY say?

  22. pharisee says:

    9 times out of 10 people like Melady are not so much pro-abortion but pro-contraception. They don’t like abortionists being turned away at the communion rail because it reminds them of their own participation in the culture of death. So they make bogus arguments like we should be more concerned about eliminating the reasons women seek abortions, etc..

  23. “I sense a rise of the “Spirit of USCCB Conference” as embodied in unread Statement on Faithful Citizenship. Are we witnessing an emergence of yet another Catholic myth?”

    All episcopal conferences in the western world should be immediately dissolved with the money saved on all the useless curiocracy involved diverted to missionary work, and to helping the poor, the persecuted and the vulnerable. It is absolutely scandallous that these talking shop paragovernments waste millions of dollars on needless and ineffective seminars, nebulous ‘pastoral’ ‘instructions’ and various ‘inclusion’ initiatives all in an endeavour to indulge Sister Mary Sunshine’s personal vanity. ‘Faithful Citizenship’ is far too temperate a document to be entertained with any degree of seriousness, especially when it purports itself to be a response to the monstrous evil that is the killing of the unborn. Whoever is responsible for drafting this nebulous verbiage ought to be forcibly taken out to the Californian desert and left there for an entire month without food for punishment and then be made make a personal apology to the President of Brazil for wasting the Amazon Rainforest in such a squanderous manner.

  24. Don Altabello says:

    I can’t stand the National Catholic Reporter, and there is much to disagree with in this article, just as there is more than enough to object to regarding the Catholics who publicly supported Obama (their silence and unwillingness to criticize the President for his decisions concerning abortion).

    That said–he’s got a point. Communion denial is getting out of hand, and at least to the average observer is being used as a political football. We go through this every four years during a presidential election, yet the drum beat is not nearly as strong for denial on the part of politicians at lower levels who support abortion. And though there seems to be differing opinions from bishops (even conservative ones) on how to handle these situations, it’s become a test of orthodoxy for a bishop among some of us as to whether communion will be denied.

    It might be helpful to consider that most of the citizens in our country do not share our views (at least not exactly) with regard to abortion. To look at the middle of the bell curve, so to speak, there is a general discomfort but acceptance of its continuing legality. Perhaps a better strategy would be to engage these folks on the substance of the debate, meeting them where they are and drawing them closer to our point of view.

    We talk about the Pope not denying communion. At the same time, does anyone know of a case where the Pope has denied communion to politicians in Europe (for instance), where in most places legal abortion is almost universally permitted?

  25. Don Altabello says:

    “once we realize there’s only a remnant left, then we can truly take an account of where we are and begin to rebuild with the people who matter.
    Comment by Chris — 27 March 2009 @ 3:01 pm ”

    Very well, Chris. I propose this Sunday that we tell have read in every pulpit in the United States: if you believe in the use of contraception, either don’t receive communion or get out. Next–if you voted for Obama or any pro-choice politician, either confess or get out.

    Yeah–we’d have a remnant alright. Ninety percent of the parishes in the U.S. would dissolve overnight. Is that really what you want?

    You know–I believe in all of the Church’s teachings, but at times it amazes me the level of contempt in which some hold their fellow Catholics (misguided positions that those folks sometimes hold).

  26. ED says:

    Remember the order…… GOD…..FAMILY…..COUNTRY………no matter if you call yourself a Republican or Demcrat, having these people putting politics above GOD shows how far from GOD they really are,their faith is a sham!!!

  27. LCB says:

    It seems to me that the ones politicizing the Eucharist are the ones who are publicly presenting themselves for Communion while championing anti-life causes.

  28. Nicknackpaddywack says:

    People used to have to get permission from their confessors to receive communion, which was not always granted pro forma.

    The current practices surrounding the reception of communion in the Roman Catholic Church are a joke.

    We’re only debating the most egregious cases nowadays. And even that is very controversial.

    By historical standards, most communions in the Catholic Church today are unworthy.

  29. Athelstane says:

    Riffing on what Claudine said above:

    1) New Orleans Archbishop Joseph Rummel excommunicated several lay Catholic leaders for resisting his plans to racially integrate diocesan Catholic schools.

    In 1947, Archbishop Elmer Cardinal Ritter threatened the same action to lay Catholics who resisted his own desegregation efforts, even sending a letter to this effect required to be read from every pulpit one Sunday.

    Does Dr. Melady believe that Revs. Rummel and Ritter were politicizing the Church and the Eucharist in taking these actions?

    2) In 1937 Pope Pius XI issued his encyclical Mit Brennender Sorge condemning Nazi racial doctrines. Many German Catholic bishops refused to take any disciplinary action against nominally Catholic Nazi leaders.

    Does Dr. Melady believe these bishops failed in their duty to halt the spread of Nazism in Germany?

    I’m genuinely curious what his answers would be.

  30. paul says:

    I agree with Nicknackpaddywack, at least as far as the fact that we need to be much more discerning in regards to reception of Holy Communion. Holy Communion will help us to become holy very quickly but this is true only of worthy communions- a sacriligeous communion will only hurt us as well as offend God.

  31. Claudine says:

    Athelstane:

    Very good! I imagine they would respond strongly toward someone who denied the Holocaust (let alone participated in it) today.

    I guess it comes down to this: They really don’t believe abortion, gay marriage and contraception are that big a deal and they act accordingly.

  32. Rancher says:

    You can take the professor out of politics but you can’t take politics out of the professor. He’s so dead wrong on so many things that NCR is probably the only publication that would waste print ink on his drivel.

  33. supertradmom says:

    Only those with a complete material and secular viewpoint politicize the Great Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. A material mind misses the fact that the souls of those who actively support abortion are in danger of damnation. Many who write like this person do not believe in hell, and therefore, cannot make the connection between scandal and sacrilege. Isn’t the care of souls the primary duty of the bishop, and the reason behind these reprimands? I see the bishops who have made strong statements as truly loving and caring for their flocks.

    Love, not politics…

  34. Let’s see…

    The “National Catholic Reporter” stands for not preventing people from receiving communion, even if they believe and advocate things the Church teaches are intrinsically evil.

    So…

    how is it they think Bishop Williamson should have stayed excommunicated over his views on the Holocaust?

  35. Timbot says:

    John Zmirak recently said it best….

    “Viewed as an organization competing with others for influence in society, what all this legislation means is that the Catholic Church has plummeted from the heights of respectability it attained in the 1950s as part of the Cold War coalition to the status of a second-rate, vaguely disreputable cult—maybe one perch higher than peyote-smoking Indians and wistful, polygamous Mormons, but several notches lower than same-sex couples, and far, far below “protected” racial and religious minorities.”

    Or as the Joker said

    “and…here…we…go!”

  36. JC says:

    THANK YOU!
    Thank you to Fr. Z. for posting and responding to this. I read it on “The Deacon’s Bench” and on NCR, and the comments on NCR were so disheartening.
    Thank you to “pharisee” and “DarkKinght” for saying what I am always feeling alone in pointing out: that most Republicans who feel uneasy about us “extreme pro-life fringe” types, and definitely most “Obama Catholics” are pro-contraception, and that we have to remember that contraception is just as much a violation of Natural Law as abortion.

    As for this Melady guy, I’ll say for him the same I said about Kmiec: who is he? Where did he come from? I’ve been a news junkie since I was in fifth grade, if not earlier. I have followed Rush Limbaugh since 1992 ,and I’ve followed conservative Catholic media, specifically, for over ten years.

    I’ve never heard of this guy.

  37. Martin T. says:

    Why can?t they just go to one of the 30,000 denominations that suits them better.

    Darn tooting right buddy!

    I wish all those sinners would just leave and the Church would be much more cofortable for us saints.

  38. Maureen says:

    Back in the day, nobody poked their nose into why you didn’t receive. None of your beeswax, unless you were the gossipy, prying type. [A good reason for bringing back a longer Eucharistic fast!]

    However, your spouse, mother, other family members, and even close friends have always been very quick to give you the fisheye and say something about how _of course_ you won’t be going up for Communion after that donut at home/hissyfit in the car.

    If the fisheye never happened to Melady, that explains this article very neatly — inadequate formation and neglect by his nearest and dearest! Poor soul.

  39. Cavaliere says:

    I wish all those sinners would just leave and the Church would be much more cofortable for us saints.

    It is one thing to accept the teachings of the Church and still sin. It is entirely different to outright reject those Truths and declare them false while still wanting to call yourself a Catholic.

  40. S in Severn says:

    Reverend Father,
    What business is it of a Lay scholar to question the authority of the Holy Father and the Bishops appointed to shepherd the flocks? I have always been surprised, espeically once I started to study Church history and the history of Western civilization, why the Church did not speak out with more force and with the powers endowed by our Lord, on matters of life and death, and the hazard to our immortal souls to endorse or to be indifferent to these sins and evils?

    As I understand it, the good Ambassador resides in the Archdiocese of Washington. Is it not the duty of his parish pastor and his bishop to correct and educate, failing that to advise and correct?

    Thanks to our secular popular culture, being “outside” the Church has no sigma or repercussions. In some circle it might well be a “badge of honor.”

  41. Cavaliere says:

    Our role, in the best traditions of a pluralistic democracy, would be that of the loyal opposition.

    I don’t think so. “Somehow I would prefer to hear the words, Well done good and faithful servant . . . enter into the joy of your Lord.” Well done member of the loyal opposition just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

  42. Gregorius says:

    “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” (Edmund Burke)

  43. Charivari Rob says:

    “It was only a few decades ago that no one questioned a fellow Catholic’s decision either to receive or not to receive the Eucharist.”

    Wasn’t it only those same few decades ago that a Catholic, aware of the teaching of the Church and conscious of being in a state of grave sin, was much less likely to dare present oneself for the Eucharist?

  44. memoriadei says:

    #

    Why can?t they just go to one of the 30,000 denominations that suits them better.

    Darn tooting right buddy!

    I wish all those sinners would just leave and the Church would be much more cofortable for us saints.
    Comment by Martin T. — 27 March 2009 @ 8:57 pm
    _————————–

    Martin T., I am the very last person to come on as holier than thou and I am a very big sinner. It’s one thing to sin and repent and try. It’s another to sin and not be repentant. And yet another to sin, be unrepentant and try to tear the Church apart. For those who want to hurt the Church and the people of the Church, then I say….move on to them. Jesus, Himself, did not stop people from moving on and directed the apostles to dust off their shoes of those who won’t listen. Pray for them? Yes, and I hope people pray for me.

  45. irishgirl says:

    I never even heard of this guy. When did he become ambassador?

    Probably under Clinton, I bet….

    Pathetic….

  46. “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” (Edmund Burke)

    This quote is wrongly attributed to Burke. He actually said: “When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle”.

  47. Ricky Vines says:

    Pope Benedict XVI modeled this sort of behavior when he met in mid-February with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Catholic who favors abortion rights. The Holy Father spoke clearly and candidly in calling the Speaker’s attention to the responsibilities of Catholic public officials to support Catholic teachings on life. There was no mention of not being allowed to receive Communion. [And she wasn’t there for a Mass, either. And why should the Holy Father do her bishops’s job for them. Isn’t that is why there are bishop? Shouldn’t the Holy Father apply subsidiarity also?]

    Thank you Father Z. When I contacted the Archdiocese of Washington D.C. that is what they told me and that Archbishop Wuerl had no jurisdiction. Can you comment on the latter excuse? I find it dubious that a bishop will have no jurisdiction on a visitor who causes scandal in his diocese. [A canonist can help us with this one, but I am pretty sure that Speaker Pelosi, and others who are in Congress or who serve, say, in the Cabinet, or perhaps are VPOTUS, are not just “visitors” in a canonical sense. If they live in the Washington DC Archdiocese when attending to their duties, they have some sort of domicile there. It may be that they live in, for example, the Arlington Diocese. However, if they are prominent figures, who might cause scandal, the local bishop does, in fact, have the authority to prohibit a person from receiving Holy Communion. I am a bit confused by the answer… at least as reported.]

  48. cthemfly25 says:

    Shane said:

    “All episcopal conferences in the western world should be immediately dissolved with the money saved on all the useless curiocracy involved diverted to missionary work, and to helping the poor, the persecuted and the vulnerable. It is absolutely scandallous that these talking shop paragovernments waste millions of dollars on needless and ineffective seminars, nebulous ‘pastoral’ ‘instructions’ and various ‘inclusion’ initiatives all in an endeavour to indulge Sister Mary Sunshine’s personal vanity. ‘Faithful Citizenship’ is far too temperate a document to be entertained with any degree of seriousness, especially when it purports itself to be a response to the monstrous evil that is the killing of the unborn. Whoever is responsible for drafting this nebulous verbiage ought to be forcibly taken out to the Californian desert and left there for an entire month without food for punishment and then be made make a personal apology to the President of Brazil for wasting the Amazon Rainforest in such a squanderous manner.”

    I couldn’t agree more. Over the years I’ve visited the USCCB’s website and frequently drive by its lavish campus in DC. The domestic platform is very much leftist failing to consider political proposals which can help the poor or uninsured through anything other than statist driven initiatives. Thanks for your shared observation.

  49. John says:

    I hope priests like Father Z will take a stand and at the end of the Liturgy of the word tell all present that voted for Obama or that remarried without an annulment or are gay or in the country illegally to get out. There is no place for people like them in the Catholic Church. [This cannot stand. Holy Church is not a Church of the pure and perfect. It is more like a hospital for the wounded. We don’t want people to get out. We would by prefer for them to stay in… but we want them to do so according to Holy Church’s teachings and practices. Furthermore, een if they were to be excommunicated, they would still have the obligation of going to Mass on Sundays. They just wouldn’t be able to receive Communion or make their confession until they were ready to repent and change their ways.]

    Archbishop Burke certainly gave My own Archbishop an earful. Hopefully the Holy Father will transfer him to a dead end post in the Vatican. The Holy Father only talks to Democrats to admonish them. Better to throw them all out now and start the cleansing. [What a bitter comment.]

  50. John says:

    Transfer Archbishop Wuerl to a dead end post in the Vatican.Not Archbishop Burke. Liberal Catholics cause scandal and need to leave the Church now.

  51. Jim of Bowie says:

    Ricky Vines said:

    “Thank you Father Z. When I contacted the Archdiocese of Washington D.C. that is what they told me and that Archbishop Wuerl had no jurisdiction. Can you comment on the latter excuse? I find it dubious that a bishop will have no jurisdiction on a visitor who causes scandal in his diocese.”

    This excuse for a congressman or senator is dubious, but for someone who quits her job in Kansas and presumably moves to Washington to take a new job not being the responsibility of the local ordinary is ridiculous. I wonder if the ADW keeps tract of all citizens moving to Washington to take a job. And how do they determine at what point it is their responsibility?

  52. Kimberly says:

    They don’t like abortionists being turned away at the communion rail because it reminds them of their own participation in the culture of death.- pharisee

    I totally agree. I think that their level of anger is on par with thier level of guilt.

  53. Ricky Vines says:

    Fr. Z, “…I am a bit confused by the answer… at least as reported.]” Here is the exact response from the archdiocese
    “…Also recognizing that the Archdiocese of Washington is not the national diocese, Archbishop Wuerl does not presume to take on the role of the local bishops who know their parishioners and work with them. He has said he will respect here the decision of a local bishop (such as Archbishop Burke, though he no longer has pastoral care of a diocese) when that bishop’s parishioner is an elected official and is here for temporary duty. I am sorry you feel he should not respect the decisions of other bishops regarding their parishioners.”.

    It’s the question on whether Bishop Wuerl has jurisdiction over the proabortion politicians.