CNA: Bishops blast Catholic governor of Illinois’s role in abortion award ceremony

From CNA:

Bishops blast Catholic governor’s role in abortion award ceremony
By Benjamin Mann

Springfield, Ill., Nov 3, 2011 / 05:59 am (CNA).- Illinois’ six Catholic bishops have deplored Catholic governor Pat Quinn’s role as the presenter of a “Pro-Choice Leadership Award” at an abortion advocacy group’s upcoming ceremony.

“We deeply regret the governor’s decision to present this award, which so closely associates him with a political action group whose purpose is contrary to the common good,” the six bishops said in a Nov. 2 statement released by the Catholic Conference of Illinois.

“With this action, Governor Quinn has gone beyond a political alignment with those supporting the legal right to kill children in their mother’s wombs, to rewarding those deemed most successful in this terrible work.”

An Oct. 27 e-mail from the abortion advocacy group Personal PAC announced that the Catholic governor “will present Jennie Goodman, Pro-Choice Leadership Award recipient, with the 2011 Award at its Annual Luncheon” on Nov. 17.

The announcement asks supporters to “join Personal PAC and over 1,000 other people in thanking Jennie for her courage and leadership on behalf of the women of Illinois!”

Personal PAC describes itself as a “political action committee dedicated to electing pro-choice candidates to state and local office in Illinois.”

Tickets prices for its 18th annual awards luncheon range from $150 to $5,000. Table service at the event is available at $2,500, $5,000, and $10,000 levels.

The Illinois bishops, including Chicago’s Cardinal Archbishop Francis E. George and Springfield’s Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki, quoted a 1994 statement of Blessed John Paul II in their reaction to Governor Quinn’s involvement.

The late Pope, they recalled, “asked in his ‘Letter to Families,’ ‘How can one morally accept laws that permit the killing of a human being not yet born, but already alive in the mother’s womb?’”

“Governor Quinn not only accepts these laws,” the bishops stated, “he promotes them and publicly presents awards to their advocates.”

“This approach is irreconcilable with any honest profession of the Catholic faith.”

The bishops said they would “continue to pray for (Quinn’s) conversion, and the protection of unborn human life.”

Meanwhile, they declared that “those acting in the manner of the governor” should not be honored “on Church property or at functions held in support of Church ministry.”

Previously, Governor Quinn drew a sharp response from Bishop Paprocki, for saying in November 2010 that his “religious faith” moved him to support a same-sex civil unions law.

On that occasion, Bishop Paprocki – whose diocese includes the state capitol – said the governor’s motivation was “certainly not the Catholic faith,” which “does not support civil unions or other measures that are contrary to the natural moral law.”

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36 Responses to CNA: Bishops blast Catholic governor of Illinois’s role in abortion award ceremony

  1. paladin says:

    I’m as much a fan of stern rhetoric and eloquent dressings-down as anyone, but: have any canonical sanctions been levelled against the governor, thus far? A failure to do so really does give the appearance of a lack of concern for the soul of the governor (whose soul seems to need the strong medicine of an interdict/excommunication) and for those scandalised by the apparent failure of his ordinary to censure him in any formal, recognizable way.

  2. paladin says:

    :) For the record, I’ve no conscious idea why the “Z” appeared in my second-to-last word, in the last comment! In honour of Fr. Z., apparently…

  3. Legisperitus says:

    Vertebra by vertebra…

  4. Peggy R says:

    Good on our bishops! But no word on communion. Folks in Chicago would know more about his mass attendance and his personal life. He appears to have once been populist good guy on the side of the people. He now is embedded in the Party of Death in Illinois.

  5. Peggy R says:

    Oh, if I may…

    To other Illinois readers, the bishops are asking the faithful to sign petitions to urge legislative action this fall to correct what I call the “bait-and-switch” pulled by DCFS on the civil unions law and Catholic Charities. So, check with your parish.

  6. pfreddys says:

    My first reaction was like I think most of us was: Will he be denied communion?
    When I googled the question a very reasoned, and measured answer came from In the Light of the Law, found here: http://canonlawblog.blogspot.com/2011/11/gov-pat-quinn-and-illinois-catholic.html
    BTW, Fr. Z thank you for turning me on to that site.

  7. teomatteo says:

    “To our Catholic institutions statewide, we reaffirm our desire and policies that those acting in the manner of the Govenor should not be given special recognition on Church property…”
    That final line was flung across the state border to Indiana and their institution in South Bend.

  8. tealady24 says:

    These people, otherwise known as politicians, (the lowest form of human life around), are so in-your-face, I-don’t-care-what-the-church-says, concerning the very foundations of what they SAY they believe in, I don’t know whether to pull my hair out or toss my computer into the woods!

    When are the bishops going to start issuing severe reprimands, starting with excommunication. You just can’t have these Cuomo-esque public opinions and call yourself a Catholic!!!

    I’m tired, REAL tired of being preached to by the higher-ups who seem to be right at home with all things political! From what I see, anyway, there isn’t going to be much of a ‘church’ left, in another generation. Too many young people just don’t care.

    You bishops out there, you just keep pontificating and preening. And don’t expect me to give you one thin dime. The CCHD is the biggest joke around! There are just so many things that are wrong and no one, or a mere one or two, stand up and say so. That is just not good enough!

    Now the auxiliary bishop in Denver is decrying abuse over the handling of the Eucharist! Is it any wonder???

    Catholics don’t know much at all about their faith; and they really don’t want to know. For 40+ years the Mass has been transformed into a protestant Service and anything goes! And that’s my rant for the day!

  9. eulogos says:

    I also would like to hear them say, in unison, that he should not present himself for communion.
    Susan Petereson

  10. cpaulitz says:

    Words, words, words. Yet, no action to protect Jesus from being consumed by this pro-abort. Pathetic.

  11. everett says:

    @tealady

    You appear to be confusing excommunication with denying holy communion, which are two very different things. You can’t just go handing excommunications out, there are specific requirements in canon law, just as there are for denying communion.

  12. tealady24 says:

    @everett

    Either way, do you see any action from the hierarchy?? Excommunications, denying holy eucharist, shouldn’t something be done with these hypocrites! As with Notre Dame, et. al, nothing will happen.

  13. Joseph-Mary says:

    It is frustrating that the so-called “Catholic” politicians commit grave public sin with impunity. It only makes the scandal they give worse and also lessens the respect for the Ordinary that allows it. I know some bishops say that the imdividual must voluntarily remove themselves from Communion. No. When your conscience is dead, you are not going to do that!

  14. Hidden One says:

    Good on the bishops! Let us all pray for them!

    (Have we forgotten that the document their names are all on is a good thing?)

  15. CPT TOM says:

    I don’t think the bishops have any problem under canon law issuing an excommunication, as by actively participating in getting laws through that support abortion, and homosexual unions, consider the gravity of the scandal, he’s probably already excommunicated himself (latæ sententiæ). If anything he should be declared excommunicated, publicly as his scandal is public, and declared Anathema. Sounds like he’s been warned before, and hasn’t recanted. So, it’s time for an old fashion, bring out the candles and snuff ‘em out excommunication. Maybe that’ll get his and other “Catholic” (I’m looking at you Governor Cuomo and you Nancy!) wake up or at least remove their legitimacy as “Good” Catholics.

  16. mrose says:

    Has Mr. Quinn not already excommunicated himself? And, perhaps, Mrs. Pelosi and other “Catholic” pro-death politicians? What exactly would constitute grounds for incurring latae sentiae (sp?) excommunication, i.e. can a politician who directly supports abortion by voting for its expansion and awarding persons whose mission is to kill people excommunicate himself?

  17. bookworm says:

    Several important points:
    – Political blogger Rich Miller (Capitol Fax), not a Catholic, called the Catholic Conference after their announcement to clarify whether this latest announcement meant Quinn would be refused Communion. The Conference’s response was:

    “The Catholic dioceses in the state have policies prohibiting any politician who has voted in favor of policies that go against the Church’s teaching from speaking at or receiving an award from a Catholic institution, like at a school. The bishops have not banned Quinn from receiving Communion. An individual priest could make the decision not to give Quinn Communion.”

    Note the last sentence: “an individual priest could make the decision not to give Quinn Communion.” Sounds to me like the bishops are giving all priests in Illinois the green light to do just that.

    – Quinn has since gone on to claim that giving this honor is a “Christian” thing to do. However I suspect that it has more to do with political payback than anything else. You see, the woman receiving the award appeared in attack ads last year, sponsored by Personal PAC, claiming that Quinn’s GOP opponent, Bill Brady (also a Catholic but very pro-life) was going to ban all abortions even for rape and incest (as if he could do that singlehandedly without the cooperation of the legislature, but I digress). The woman being honored is, I believe, a rape victim who had an abortion (or at least that’s how Personal PAC identifies her). Many political observers believe these attack ads helped tilt a very close race in Quinn’s favor because they spooked liberal suburbanite women (the Chicago suburbs are the “swing” factor in statewide elections these days) into thinking Brady was some kind of heartless chauvinist who was going to make women bear rapists’ children.

    Long story short, this woman helped Quinn get elected despite his low approval ratings and a huge Republican surge last year and THAT is what this event is all about.

  18. CPT TOM says:

    http://www.catholicplanet.com/articles/article78.htm
    “Canon 1398: “A person who procures a completed abortion incurs a latae sententiae excommunication.”

    Canon 751: “Heresy is the obstinate denial or obstinate doubt after the reception of baptism of some truth which is to be believed by divine and Catholic faith; apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith; schism is the refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.”

    Canon 1364 §1: “an apostate from the faith, a heretic, or a schismatic incurs a latae sententiae excommunication.”

    The phrase “latae sententiae” means a judgment or sentence which is ‘wide’ (latae) or widely applied; it refers to a type of excommunication which is automatic. Such a sentence of excommunication is incurred “by the very commission of the offense,” (CCC 2272) and does not require the future particular judgment of a case by competent authority.

    Apostasy, heresy, and schism are all offences which incur a sentence of excommunication automatically. Heresy is the obstinate denial of any truth of the Catholic faith, on a matter of faith or morals, which has been definitively taught by the Magisterium. The Magisterium has repeatedly and definitively taught that abortion is always gravely immoral. (CCC 2270 to 2275) ”

    there is more, much more, commentary there….

  19. CPT TOM says:

    Reading that site gives me a pretty good believe that the Catholic Politicians who continue in their promotion of “pro-death” have excommunicated themselves and no priest should give them communion until they repent. I believe that absolution is reserved to the Holy See in these cases. It’s pretty cut and dry, so Pelosi and her fellow “catholic” politicians should be worried about their mortal souls by their continued actions and proclamations against the magistierium and Holy Mother Church. It would be nice if the Bishops would spell this out so the doubters have no room for maneuver or opportunity to confuse the faithful further.

  20. Peggy R says:

    Me Again!

    Poll Alert! Belleville News Democrat covers Quinn’s statement and has a poll as to whether he should present the award. At this time, only 30 people have voted. The good news is that 70% (or 21) of them say No. Vote at the link, especially if you are an Illinoisan. Thanks.

    http://www.bnd.com/2011/11/02/1925950/bishops-protest-quinn-giving-pro.html

  21. Phillip says:

    Sickening. There is no other word.

  22. Panterina says:

    What caught my attention was the Bishops’ use of the phrase “those supporting the legal right to kill children in their mother’s wombs” instead of “Pro-Choice” (notice the use of capitalization by mainstream media).

    It’s high time that we Catholics consistently refrain from using the euphemisms and calling the truth by what it is. “[A]nd you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. (Jn 8:32). It might mean small potatoes to those who advocate more visible pronouncements as public excommunication and denial of Holy Communion, but I believe that the pen sometimes is mightier than the sword!

    Kudos to the Bishops!

  23. As a group, the bishops of the United States are starting to find their voices. That is encouraging. As more of the old guard is replaced by younger blood, those voices will become harder and harder to ignore. Hopefully, it is not too late.

  24. Supertradmum says:

    He is excommunicated…automatically..

  25. albinus1 says:

    Note the last sentence: “an individual priest could make the decision not to give Quinn Communion.” Sounds to me like the bishops are giving all priests in Illinois the green light to do just that.

    I don’t want to start rehashing all the arguments from another thread, but doesn’t this point up another problem with EMHCs? These arguments about priests denying someone Communion all seem to assume that the person in question is going to present himself for Communion to a priest. But as we all know, in the average large parish on Sunday, odds are that a person is more likely end up in the Communion line of an EMHC than a priest or deacon.

    Does this mean that an EMHC has the authority to deny this person Communion? I can imagine the can of worms that would open, if it were stated officially that EMHCs had the authority to decide on their own to deny Communion to people! And yet, if not, then this business of “denying Communion” sounds great but has no enforcement mechanism. Let’s say a particular priest says he’s going to deny, e.g., Gov. Cuomo Communion. So at next Sunday’s Mass, Gov. Cuomo simply gets in the line for Sr. Mary Pantsuit or Soccer Mom. (And, of course, someone photographs him doing so.) Seeing that a bishop’s declaration that someone should be denied Communion can be violated with impunity would be worse, in a way, than not having such a declaration at all.

    I realize that this sounds flip, but I’m not trying to be. I’m asking seriously: it sounds great to say that the bishops should deny Communion to someone on the grounds that this person is creating public scandal; but given the way Communion is handled in most parishes, what exactly would the enforcement mechanism be?

  26. albinus1 says:

    The phrase “latae sententiae” means a judgment or sentence which is ‘wide’ (latae) or widely applied; it refers to a type of excommunication which is automatic.

    Isn’t “latae” here actually the participle of “fero” (“to bring”) (fero, ferre, tuli, latum), and not the adjective “latus, -a, -um” (“wide”)? The judgment (“sententiae”) has been automatically brought (“latae”) due to the person’s conduct, i.e., the offense carries with it automatic excommunication, as opposed to a formal declaration of excommunication that would require a formal procedure.

  27. bookworm says:

    “given the way Communion is handled in most parishes, what exactly would the enforcement mechanism be?”

    The actual decision of whether or not to refuse Communion would be made by the PASTOR, who would then spread the word to any assistants, deacons and EMHCs that Person X is not to be given Communion if they present themselves. In this case the EMHCs, etc. would simply be carrying out the directive of the pastor.

  28. Kerry says:

    When he says “It’s the Christian thing to do”, he is saying the thing to do is to heap honor upon the cult of thanatos.

  29. Kerry says:

    “those supporting the legal right to kill children in their mother’s wombs” , what its supporters call, “Pro-Choice”

  30. albinus1 says:

    bookworm,

    In theory, yes. In practice, do you really see that happening? Do you really see an EMHC being willing to deny Communion to someone, regardless of what the pastor says? Do you really see an EMHC willing to make an issue of it and risk getting into an argument with someone in the Communion line who might be willing to make a scene? I’m afraid I don’t. I don’t any EMHCs willing to deny “blessings” (“I’m sorry, but as a layperson I am not authorized to ‘bless’ your child”) to people who come up in the Communion line for “blessings” rather than Communion. So I’m afraid I just don’t see that most EMHCs are going to be willing to enforce a “denial of Holy Communion” decree. After all, it would make him or her look like “the bad guy.” If nothing else, if reprimanded afterwards, the EMHC could just claim that he or she didn’t recognize the person.

    I suppose this is one reason why in some Orthodox churches, the priest will give you Communion only if he personally knows you — and knows that you have been to Confession recently. I’m certainly not suggesting that we go that far; but I can understand the reason for it.

    A law or decree that is unenforced — or unenforceable — is worse than not having a law or decree at all, because the lack of enforcement breeds contempt for authority.

  31. DisturbedMary says:

    How out the bishops just ask the Governor to send back his baptismal certificate?

  32. Peggy R says:

    Bookworm,

    Thanks for the additional statement. Miller didn’t post it–at least not on his free site. And that’s not a Catholic-friendly crowd. (I think they’re mostly state workers.) The commenters are calling Quinn a “statesman” or “the grown up.” One said that he missed Card. Bernardin who gave pols “wide berth” on abortion. Oh, brother.

  33. CatherineTherese says:

    @tealady24: Don’t lose hope! I understand your dismay over the apparent state of affairs…

    You said:
    “I’m tired, REAL tired of being preached to by the higher-ups who seem to be right at home with all things political! From what I see, anyway, there isn’t going to be much of a ‘church’ left, in another generation. Too many young people just don’t care. …

    Catholics don’t know much at all about their faith; and they really don’t want to know. For 40+ years the Mass has been transformed into a protestant Service and anything goes! And that’s my rant for the day!”

    I DO know what you mean! But I also meet weekly with, and am uplifted by the enthusiasm and devotion of a group of 18-35yr-old Catholics who are growing in number… are serious about their faith, upholding the teachings of the Church, passing it all onto their children, and cultivating community (INCLUDING EVANGELIZING!). These pockets of truth, light and consciousness of the current state of the world – they are growing in number and in strength, I believe, and we can all – regardless of our age and status – pray and hope for them and for the future. The errors and blind spots of previous generations are coming into clearer relief for this upcoming generation of young Catholics. We read Father Z! We read Weigel! We read Encyclicals and love our Holy Father!

    We will always be forced to suffer and contend with misguided politicians. But the understanding and ability to articulate alternative world-views and errors within the mainstream status-quo WITH LOVE and PATIENCE is being honed among the young. Hope!

    Brick by brick. Or… to rep Legisperitus, vertebra by vertebra! – I love it!

  34. Scott W. says:

    As much as pro-abortion Catholic politicians need to be put in an excommunication process, according to canon lawyer Ed Peters, the case that they have incurred automatic excommunication as found under Canon 1398 is very weak. See: http://canonlawblog.blogspot.com/2007/05/case-for-applying-canon-1398-to.html

  35. Supertradmum says:

    What is even more scandalous is that this Governor got the “Catholic” vote in Illinois. Some of my friends in that state thought he would be pro-life. Again, it pays to look closely at politicians’ history of voting. There was no excuse for Catholics voting for Quinn, or Obama, or anyone, as the voting histories are available online.

    It is great that the bishops are making such decisions easier for Catholics by being so clear. But, the responsibility lies with the voting public.

  36. bookworm says:

    “What is even more scandalous is that this Governor got the “Catholic” vote in Illinois.”

    Actually, it would be more accurate to say “the ‘Catholic’ vote in Chicago and some of its suburbs.” Quinn didn’t get very many Catholic votes — or very many Protestant or Jewish votes for that matter — outside of the Chicago metro area. He lost in 98 of the 102 counties in Illinois — but the 3 that he won include Cook County, which due to its population, trumps all others. Even in Springfield, heavily populated by state employees, he lost by about 20 percentage points.