Phil Lawler on “The betrayal of Father Guarnizo”

Phil Lawler on CWN has a piece worthy of your attention today.

Here are some excerpts:

The betrayal of Father Guarnizo
By Phil Lawler

[...]

Bishop Knestout’s letter was entirely sympathetic to Johnson, entirely unsympathetic to Father Guarnizo. There was no hint that under some circumstances the priest might have been right to refuse Communion, and no hint that Johnson had been wrong to provoke the refusal. The message was a betrayal in two ways:

First, it is not clear whether Father Guarnizo was right to deny Barbara Johnson the Eucharist. But it is quite clear, and has been from the outset, that Barbara Johnson was wrong to present herself for Communion. [...]

Second, the vicar general’s public statement did something very similar to what it accused Father Guarnizo of doing. [...] A priest cannot lightly refuse Communion to someone he deems a sinner, because—among other things—by doing so he creates a scandal, exposing that “sinner” to public humiliation. Yet the archdiocese exposed Father Guarnizo to public humiliation.

And why did the archdiocese leave this poor priest dangling? Because he violated a policy of the archdiocese—a policy that may be in conflict with the law of the universal Church? At worst Father Guarnizo was guilty of a minor infraction against a local policy, not a serious transgression against God’s law. The archdiocesan policy weighed against refusing the Eucharist even when that action was justified (in fact obligatory), and the first statement from Bishop Knestout spoke only of the archdiocesan policy without making reference to the more serious questions about God’s law. So the faithful had every reason to worry that a good priest might be wrongly disciplined. And the subsequent statement from Bishop Knestout, claiming that Father Guarnizo had been removed from ministry for reasons unrelated to the Eucharistic incident, strained the credulity of the most loyal Catholics. We still do not have all the facts. But faithful Catholics cannot be blamed for harboring strong suspicions.

[...]

The betrayal of Father Guarnizo sends a chilling message to every priest in Washington: that if he is zealous in defending the Eucharist, he cannot count on support from the archdiocese. Since other radical activists will no doubt follow Barbara Johnson’s example, we can expect another test case soon. Let’s hope and pray that the next time, the archdiocese will show at least as much solicitude for the Eucharist (not to mention the accused priest) as for the critics of the Church.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

FacebookEmailPinterestGoogle GmailShare/Bookmark

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in 1983 CIC can. 915, Goat Rodeos, One Man & One Woman, Priests and Priesthood, The Drill, The future and our choices, The Last Acceptable Prejudice and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

48 Responses to Phil Lawler on “The betrayal of Father Guarnizo”

  1. Jim Dorchak says:

    “A priest cannot lightly refuse Communion to someone he deems a sinner, because—among other things—by doing so he creates a scandal, exposing that “sinner” to public humiliation. Yet the archdiocese exposed Father Guarnizo to public humiliation.”

    Fr. Z is this not a case where the good bishop exposed the public to humiliation and scandal? Not to mention our blessed Lord Jesus? [I am not sure I follow: How did the bishop humiliate "the public"?]

  2. EXCHIEF says:

    There are always multiple sides to every story. However, given the track record of far too many Bishops in being politically correct rather than doctrinally focused it would seem the Priest in this case was thrown under the bus. The case of Fr. Rodriguez in El Paso and this one certainly have similarities. The duty of a leader, and Bishops are supposed to be leaders, is to stand behind those they lead unless there is clear evidence of error on the part of those led. I am not convinced that Father made a mistake worthy of censure much less public humiliation. Indeed, I think he was “set up”….something that seems to have escaped the Bishop’s attention.

  3. irishgirl says:

    EXCHIEF: Amen, amen! What you said!
    Ditto to Phil Lawler, too!

  4. James Joseph says:

    Considering that the woman who denied herself the holy Eucharist is sitting on a panel today and a scheduled speaker at (small-c) catholic pro-death rally, I myself, would not be suprised if the whole thing was a sham.

  5. Dr. K says:

    When you have a Cardinal who defends permitting pro-abort politicians to receive Communion, the action against Fr. Gaurnizo is to be expected.

  6. AGA says:

    The Law of The Church on this matter can be summarized as “When in doubt, pass Him out.”

    It’s hard to think of a situation where some doubt would not exist. For instance, Barbara Johnson may have made a perfect act of contrition prior to entering the Communion line. Fr. G. had no way to know she didn’t.

  7. Fr. William says:

    A different perspective on this whole issue:
    As a priest I am to safeguard the Blessed Sacrament in every way possible. The woman in question was wrong to present herself for reception of Holy Communion: how many people present themselves unworthily (in a state of mortal sin) for Communion each and every Sunday?
    Fr. Guarnizo was upholding what was entrusted to him as a priest! I do not attempt to offend anyone but I would far rather offend a human being than disgrace our Lord. There are many issues involved and this simply highlights a number of ways that we have in the recent history of the Church become very lax in certain practices.
    As well, if I go to the hospital and someone receives even the smallest particle or fragment of a host that person receives the fullness of Christ and yet people have no problem receiving Communion in the hand and exposing the possibility of a particle or fragment (that when received by someone would be the fullness of Christ) being cast onto the ground! To KNOW (because I see the amount of particles and fragments remaining on the paten or in the ciborium after distribution) that our Lord has ended up on the ground kills me and yet, I can do nothing about it! Most people do not even know that reception of Holy Communion in the hand is NOT A RIGHT; it is granted by an indult (a permission) and only under particular circumstances. Many people who defend Fr. Guarnizo will, this weekend, receive our Lord in their hand without a second thought as to whether there are particles or a fragment of our Lord that will end up on the floor.
    Which is worse? Someone who presents themselves and who s hould apparently not be able to present themeselves or someone who should absolutely know better and either receive in a state of mortal sin or allow our Lord to end up on the floor?
    Just something to ponder!!!

  8. haribo says:

    AGA,
    If we’re conscious of unconfessed mortal sins, we’re required to confess them sacramentally before receiving communion. A perfect act of contrition might restore a soul to the state of grace, but we still have go to Confession before we receive the Eucharist. Secondly, if Barbara Johnson was open about her lesbian relationship (and the fact that she took it to the national press would seem to suggest she was), then it would be public scandal to receive communion, and she would have to end the relationship first. I don’t know whether the intention to end the relationship suffices, meaning she could go to confession before Mass, resolve to abandon her life of sin, and then receive communion without anyone but the priest knowing. Or would she have to make public satisfaction first? Fr. Z could answer that.

  9. PhilipNeri says:

    I’m gonna throw this out there and then duck and run. . .

    How exactly do God’s creatures defend/protect their Creator?

    Before I start running and ducking. . .I don’t mean, of course, that we should throw the Body of Christ to the congregation like Madri Gras beads, or in any way set out to behave in such a way that would cause the sacrament to be desecrated. But I do find it a little puzzling when folks claim to be protecting God from His creatures.

    Maybe we need a few more distinctions to clear this up?

    Fr. Philip Neri, OP (bobbing and weaving)

  10. Andrew says:

    If it is impossible to determine who “obstinately persists in manifest grave sin” then Canon 915 is completely useless. But if walking up to a priest before receiving communion and saying: “hey, guess what, meet my lesbian lover” – if that is enough, then Canon 915 makes some sense.

  11. acardnal says:

    I think the last sentence of Mr. Lawler’s commentary says it very succinctly: ” Let’s hope and pray that the next time, the archdiocese will show at least as much solicitude for the Eucharist (not to mention the accused priest) as for the critics of the Church.”

  12. PM says:

    From a purely worldly perspective: Whatever the merits of the particular case (and there are hints that more was involved than has been publicly reported) Bishop Knestout does seem to go out of his way to show conformity to the our cultural banalities, and does nothing to increase confidence in those who are supposed to lead us in the ongoing battle. One can understand a prudent desire to avoid (what are in worldly terms) irrelevant distractions from the main fight: but this episode does reinforce my fear that the bishops in the end will make a show of resisting the HHS mandates so they can later claim an “honorable” surrender or, the more honest of them, retreating into sulky impotence.

  13. digdigby says:

    Bishop, do you believe her version or your own priest’s? Hers? Just thought I’d ask.
    We live in a virtual reality that is created daily, a nightmare world of spin and appearances. When the Catholic church begins dealing in ‘appearances’ as well…. we have reached some sort of nadir.

  14. BillyHW says:

    Free Father Guarnizo!

  15. Sixupman says:

    +Knestout appears to be adopting the same tactic as one of his fellow bishops in the USA – disciplining a priest on an undisclosed charge, with all the speculation that such action raises. Nasty!

  16. brotherfee says:

    I agree that Fr. Guarnizo was correct in withholding communion and that Ms. Johnson should not have presented herself for communion. I have withheld from going to communion at those times when I felt that I was not in a proper state of grace. I just turn my legs to one side and let the pew pass by. It does seem, however, that about 99% of the congregation take communion on any given Sunday; now whether all of these folks are in the proper state of grace for communion, I dunno.

    I do strongly agree with the article in that other test cases may occur, the church better be ready with a specific plan that is given to the public. I can envision a political group dressed up as clowns, honking horns, and demanding communion at a Catholic church near you.

  17. Sister H. says:

    May ALL Priests do the right thing; the Bishop can’t suspend every last one can he?

  18. Christophe says:

    Fr. Guarnizo for Bishop!

  19. Johnno says:

    News alert!

    Dissenting Catholics including a bishop and gay priests are organizing a dissent conference against Church teachings on homosexuality. And guess who else is an invited speaker?!!!

    Babara Johnson has been exposed folks!

    Will Bishop Knestout now send out another letter? I’m not holding my breath…

    http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=13680

  20. servusmariaen says:

    ??? ,???, ???, ??????
    Mene, Mene, Tekel u-Pharsin

    Our lady of Akita to Sister Agnes Sasagawa:

    On October 13, the anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima, 1973, Sr. Agnes heard the beautiful voice speaking from the statue once more: “The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against other bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their confreres, churches and altars will be sacked. The Church will be full of those who accept compromises and the devil will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord. The demon would be especially implacable against souls consecrated to God. The thought of the loss of so many souls is the cause of my sadness. If sins increase in number and gravity, there will be no longer any pardon for them.”

  21. acardnal says:

    @servusmariaen: Nice quote. Adding that to my collection. Do you have a source document per chance?

  22. Charles E Flynn says:

    Search for the word “infiltrate” here:

    http://www.ewtn.com/library/mary/akita.htm

  23. Joseph-Mary says:

    It’s hard to think of a situation where some doubt would not exist. For instance, Barbara Johnson may have made a perfect act of contrition prior to entering the Communion line. Fr. G. had no way to know she didn’t…..

    Well as a practicing buddhist outside the Chruch for decades, that was not going to happen! Plus those who live in public grave sin such as lesbian activists or pro-abortion politicians need to do more than make a private act of contrition or even a private confession; they need to go public with their repentance.

    I also like the quote from Akita. Too many faithful clergy have been sacrificed on the alter of public opinion and relativism.

  24. TNCath says:

    I have been thinking about this scenario for several days and have refrained from commenting because I was waiting to see how this was going to play out. Having read both sides (or several sides) of this unfortunately incident, this is how I see it.

    Why would this woman, a lapsed Catholic who now professes to be Buddhist, give a rip about receiving Holy Communion if she does not even believe in the Eucharist or the Church, and then throw a fit after having been refused? The only answer I can come up with is that this was clearly a put up job (a conspiracy?) in an effort to get rid of Fr. Guarzino for some reason other than this incident. Someone (or group of people) has Fr. Guarzino on his radar and this event was obviously the nail in his coffin. Quite unfortunate for everyone.

  25. acardnal says:

    Just a reminder. . . .Fr. Guarnizo was a local leader of the anti-abortion effort. He spoke/prayed in front of the local abortuary. Enemies? You betcha!

  26. oldcanon2257 says:

    Fr. William wrote:

    As well, if I go to the hospital and someone receives even the smallest particle or fragment of a host that person receives the fullness of Christ and yet people have no problem receiving Communion in the hand and exposing the possibility of a particle or fragment (that when received by someone would be the fullness of Christ) being cast onto the ground! To KNOW (because I see the amount of particles and fragments remaining on the paten or in the ciborium after distribution) that our Lord has ended up on the ground kills me and yet, I can do nothing about it!

    How true that is! As recounted by the late Card. François-Xavier Nguy?n V?n Thu?n of Vietnam (whose cause for beatification is opened), when he was in communist prison, he was saying Mass with three drops of wine and one drop of water in the palm of his hand. Of course those few drops became the Blood of Christ after consecration. We Catholics, both the clergy and laity, need to be re-catechized regarding the Real Presence of Our Lord. I believe that lack of belief in the Real Presence most likely accounts for all the crises of faith the Church is experiencing. Hopefully such erosion in belief will be countered by the Holy Father’s New Evangelization efforts.

    Talking about Card. Nguy?n V?n Thu?n, he recounted that when he was in communist prison, his mother always told everybody, “Pray that my son will be faithful to the Church and remain where God wants him.” Mothers know best indeed. We should pray the same for Fr. Guarnizo so that he would abandon himself to God’s will and follow wherever God leads him and remain wherever God wants him. Priests are also humans, and without the grace of God humans simply cannot persevere in the faith in the face of adversity (Our Lord taught, “For without me you can do nothing” – John 15:5). From what we have known thus far, Father has been a loyal servant, zealously guarding and protecting Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. Pray that Father will be unwavering in keeping the faith in these difficult times. Satan preys on us in those moments we let our guard down and lose focus on Christ when our heart is wounded by betrayal and we feel angered, shocked, crushed, despaired.

    Many of us traditional-minded Catholics tend to be trigger-happy a lot of times. Out of frustration with what we perceive to be lack of progress (such as quick and visible victories) in spiritual warfare, we are so quick to assign blames and turn to criticizing and finding faults with priests (especially when it comes to the more visible matter of liturgical abuses), yet totally neglecting to, in charity, pray for our priests. I know I have been guilty of that often. Please remember to pray for our priests, as they are always being subjected to all sorts of diabolical attacks spiritually (many of those attacks by Satan are so subtle and gradual or so well-disguised, it’s hard to recognize.)

    Saint John Vianney, patron of priests, pray for us.

  27. frjim4321 says:

    As was the case recently in Belleville, I suspect there was much, much more to the story than what came out in the press. Is this the first complain in the priest’s file, or was this the “last straw” after many similar incidents of menacing behaviors causing parishioners and staff to fear for their safety? Anyone can write a moving letter in defense of themselves. What do witnesses reports? What have the priest’s supervisors reported over the years.

    We don’t have all the data, thus we can’t really determine if this action was the betrayal of a productive, effective, healthy priest or the protection of the faithful from a dangerous man.

  28. PhilipNeri.

    May I assume you do not know (or agree) that Christ, in His eternal present, suffers on the Cross for the sins and outrages that we even now inflict on Him?

  29. acardnal says:

    @johnno: I note from your link that Luke Timothy Johnson, Ph.D. is also one of the lay speakers. I thought he was an orthodox scripture scholar???? Hmmmm……

  30. Jim Dorchak says:

    Fr. Z
    Sorry for the late response I have been working in the yard all day.
    “Fr. Z is this not a case where the good bishop exposed the public to humiliation and scandal? Not to mention our blessed Lord Jesus? [I am not sure I follow: How did the bishop humiliate "the public"?]”
    I think that the bishop humiliated those of us who support this good Priest and made us look like fools by abandoning the Church, but more important and extreeme and the center of my point, I feel that the bishop created scandal.
    It beggs the question: When is it permissible to with hold communion? Sounds like the bishop would give satan communion to me. I know it is very strong but we are talking about our Lord, and I am very hurt that the bishop has put another nail in our Lord on the cross. When will they defend the Church? (not a rhetorical question).

  31. PhilipNeri says:

    Mr Edwards, I’m not sure I understand your question. I am 100% sure that both the crucifixion and the resurrection were historical events. I am also 100% sure that any Mass validly celebrated participates in the Once for All sacrifice he made for us on the cross. I’ve never heard or read anything about Christ eternally suffering on the cross. That seems to me to be a denial of Christ’s resurrection and his ascension. Am I misunderstanding something?

    Fr. Philip Neri, OP

  32. nanetteclaret says:

    frjim4321 -

    Where do you get “similar incidents of menacing behaviors causing parishioners and staff to fear for their safety” and “protection of the faithful from a dangerous man?” Under the guise of asking a question, you are making really slanderous statements! Whatever happened to “innocent until PROVEN guilty?” And that includes in the court of public opinion, too. As usual, you play the devil’s advocate. Who are you, really? A pro-abortion Episcopalian, perhaps?

  33. Angie Mcs says:

    Further to Johnno’s post on this gay dissedent conference coming up, I am sad to see that one of the speakers will be Susan Ross, Theology Chair at Loyola University, where my niece, also my goddaughter, attends. My niece has attended Catholic schools all her life and has been to Washington DC twice during high school with a ProLife group. How can the Chair of a Catholic University be allowed to do this. Even attending sends a confusing message to the university students. I can already see the subtle changes in her beliefs as she becomes more “tolerant” and “open”. Well, it’s going to be an interesting discussion around the Easter dinner table this year!

  34. Fr_Sotelo says:

    Even if Fr. Marcel Guarnizo were deserving of punishment for some conduct outside of the Communion incident, Bishop Knestout’s letter makes him seem like a malcontent. There is not even the slightest attempt to be even handed and hold off on conclusions.

    This is not a rare thing in the Church. Bishops and Vicars General have been known to feel entitled to run a priest into the ground in the hope that they will thereby placate the mobs. And since Fr. Marcel is not incardinated, but is still officially a priest of the Archdiocese of Moscow, there is even more reason to think he can be batmouthed and those in the chancery who wish to do this will simply get away with it.

    Bishop Knestout will hopefully publish a future letter which addresses the needs for justice towards Fr. Marcel’s name and reputation.

  35. Fr. Philip Neri,

    Of course the crucifixion and resurrection were historical events from a temporal perspective, but all of salvation history is eternally present to God, and the one Sacrifice of the Cross is perpetuated in the Sacrifice of the the Mass. Surely Christ suffered on the cross for all our sins, those we commit now as well as those past and future. So it is a traditional belief that our personal sins do indeed contribute to His suffering in the passion. And so I personally believe that sacrilege and offenses against His presence in the Blessed Sacrament contribute that suffering, because he died for all the sins of men, including these.

  36. frjim4321 says:

    nanetteclaret -

    I was saying we don’t know the situation, thus all speculations have equal weight.

    So speculations that may be seen as slanderous regarding the bishop are fine, but speculations that could be taken as slanderous regarding the priest are not?

    As with the Belleville situation I am aware that much of the story ordinarily never becomes part of the popular lore, except finally in that situation the bishop ultimately published an open letter detailing the matter. Perhaps this should also be done in Washington.

    LOL, the Episcopalians would never have me, I am far too low church for them. As for “pro-abortion,” hmm, no that’s not a good descriptor for me. I am probably much more of a “consistent ethic/seamless garment” proponent of the Bernardine school that most people here, and that’s hardly “pro-abortion.” That being said I admit to getting a chuckle out of Doonesbury this past week for mocking the myth that shaming women will result in fewer abortions.

    – Fr. Jim

    (PS: I love the “PREVIEW” button, but I get an error message that it’s not working.)

  37. PhilipNeri says:

    Mr Edwards,

    We completely agree!

    I wonder if it might be better to say that communion should be withheld from those who have violated the relevant canon law (etc.) b/c admitting them to communion not only imperils their salvation but the priest’s salvation as well?

    My worry is that the customary way of talking about “defending the Sacrament” makes it sound as though mere creatures believe that they are capable of preventing harm being done to God! No creature can harm God.

    When we “defend the Sacrament” we prevent someone from imperiling his/her soul through sacrilege. Like excommunication, withholding communion should be medicinal not punitive.

    Fr. Philip Neri, OP

  38. LadyMarchmain says:

    What can we do to help Fr. Guarnizo in addition to our prayers?

  39. Bea says:

    Lady Marchmain:
    a few things we could do:
    1.We could fast, especially at this time of the lenten season.
    2.Send a message of encouragement through the his parish blog
    Here is their “feedback” page
    http://saintjohnneumann.org/Main/sjnFeedback.htm
    3.send a message to Bishop Knestout (not that it will do any good but at least they’ll know that the anger and injustice is not just on the public eye of ms johnson)

    acardinal
    The following comparing it to the Akita message is scarier, still.
    What is happening and what awaits us?

    Mene, Mene, Tekel u-Pharsin (Daniel 5:1-4)
    Handwriting on the wall

    “Instead, you have exalted yourself against the Lord of heaven. You brought before you the vessels from his temple, and you and your nobles, together with your wives and concubines, drank wine from them. You praised the gods of silver, gold, bronze, iron, wood, and stone – gods 49 that cannot see or hear or comprehend! But you have not glorified the God who has in his control 50 your very breath and all your ways! 5:24 Therefore the palm of a hand was sent from him, and this writing was inscribed.

    5:25 “This is the writing that was inscribed: MENE, MENE, 51 TEQEL, and PHARSIN. 52 5:26 This is the interpretation of the words: 53 As for mene 54 – God has numbered your kingdom’s days and brought it to an end. 5:27 As for teqel – you are weighed on the balances and found to be lacking. 5:28 As for peres 55 – your kingdom is divided and given over to the Medes and Persians.”

    Medes and Persians? Islam?

  40. Massachusetts Catholic says:

    In response to the comment from Fr_Sotelo, I have to say I love what is clearly a typo:

    “And since Fr. Marcel is not incardinated, but is still officially a priest of the Archdiocese of Moscow, there is even more reason to think he can be batmouthed and those in the chancery who wish to do this will simply get away with it…”

    “Batmouthed” is a wonderful new coinage that clearly explains the effect of the bishop’s words. It’s as if the archdiocese used words to beat poor Fr. Guarnizo around the head with a bat. So public and unnecessarily brutal. I know several priests in the Boston area who have been “batmouthed” by the chancery.

  41. Fr_Sotelo says:

    Massachusetts Catholic:

    LOLOLOLOLOL. I guess that’s what they call a Freudian slip, because I do feel as if a bat has been taken to the poor Father. There is not a single person of influence who has risen to his defense or advocacy within the power structure of the Archdiocese.

    The Church has never provided for even good canonical counsel to immediately aid the priest in trouble, because the assumption has always been that he could depend on his bishop/spiritual father to come to his aid. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

  42. While Dr Peter’s does make a pretty good case that there was a violation upon both sides the bishop’s response was extremly extremly one sided and indicated a lack of horror over the sacrilege that occurred.

    I have seen articles of all the Vatican’s and the Holy Fathers supposed “media/ public relations gaffes” which were pretty childish to criticize for the most part compared to thee one by this bishop. You would have to a blind……. (it wouldn’t be charitable to go on) to know that the sodomite clientele would take it as a justification of their behavior and it would scandalize the faithful. That isn’t rocket science and probably what it was intended to do with out “technically” doing it.

    From Fr G’s report it was related- someone is lying and taking everyone for a fool. As far as dismissing Fr G with so much fanfare it could have been done quietly and at some other time if there were other “incidents.” Personally I don’t buy the diocese’s claim- too far fetched and falls under the realm of “all too convenient.”

    However, on the good side according to Dr Peter’s articles any priest who recognizes her now can refuse to committ sacrilege by denying her Holy Communion- according to Canon 915- if she doesn’t go to confession and repent. She has made her sin manifestly public now. If the priest was more circumspect and had been able to find out if she had a that she boasted of her grave and mortal sins on her blog/ online he would have been in compliance with canon law (though the bishop would have still probably punished him for not being PC and daring to honor the Eucharist over a lesbian who wanted to committ sacrilege) . Anything on the internet that is public available should qualify. Unfortunately she just ran away and it didn’t occur to him. I suppose another good reason for a priest to have a PDA with internet- probably could have been found with a quick search as she was so forth coming and boasting of her sin. None of it was said under the seal of confession or even in “professional confidence.”

    Sadly I think this bishop has just contributed to more counts of sacrilege and his letter will be used as justification by those who do so and priests and EMHCs who are too afraid to invoke Canon 915.

  43. Supertradmum says:

    Can’t the Church merely have a rule which is simple to understand for all, such as, if a sin is obviously public, public repentance and public penance should be required. Is that difficult for bishops to implement?

  44. Panterina says:

    “The Church has never provided for even good canonical counsel to immediately aid the priest in trouble
    Right on, Fr_Sotelo! After reading Dr. Peter’s commentary, one does need to be very familiar with what he called the “primary applicable canons” (cc 18, 213, 843, 912, 915, 916), their interpretation, and how to apply them in fairness to similar situations. Not easy at all!

  45. Cathy says:

    @Philip Neri, I couldn’t get your first post off my mind. This is such a great mystery, but then Judas was the first to present himself for Holy Communion in a state which was in total opposition and unbelief, [I'm not so sure. The last thing that dies in us is faith, even while hope and charity have been snuffed out. We believe and yet sin all the time!] but Our Lord also gave a great warning to the Apostles, including Judas, regarding this same event. I can’t help but think of all the subtle betrayals that led to this whole conundrum, one that sticks out in my mind is the thought that Ms. Johnson revealed her lifestyle to an administrator hiring for an art teacher at a Catholic High School, and they hired her with the response “….we are not bigoted.”

  46. amsjj1002 says:

    PM says: 17 March 2012 at 9:40 am is much my own view. In my mind, I connected this incident with the HHS Mandate; it makes me have less confidence the bishops won’t fall down on “bigger” issues. I wrote to the Apostolic Nuncio expressing my concern. I’m nobody important but this situation’s really hit my heart.