Prof. Ed Peters, canonist (whom I still think is wrong about a question concerning Mass obligations – but I digress), has posted something instructive about catholic politicians who truly need some medicinal help from Holy Mother Church.
We enter in medias res…
Now, it’s Let’s excommunicate New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo for his latest push to expand abortion in what is perhaps the most pro-abortion state in the union. Sins, to be sure, these deeds, but canonical crimes? and ones punishable by excommunication at that? I suggest not, as many of us have discussed many times.
Some bloggers really should google a bit before they post. If they did so in the Cuomo case, they’d find out, among other things, that politicians are not subject to excommunication for abortion under Canon 1398 (the only canon remotely relevant to their situation), that Canon 915 is a much more appropriate response to the scandal of the prominent pro-abortion Catholic politico, and that Cuomo has already been the subject of an extensive discussion in regard to his eligibility for Communion; indeed, they’d probably find out that Cuomo is apparently refraining from approaching for holy Communion on his own.
Can the canonical ante be upped further? Sure, but not by blog-driven public pressure on Catholic bishops for politico-excommunications under a Code that at present does not punish activities such as Cuomo’s or Quinn’s with a penalty such as excommunication. So, those distressed, and rightly so, by Cuomo’s or Quinn’s politics and specifically desirous of seeing them excommunicated, have, as I see it, two options: either (a) petition the pope to rewrite one or more canons of Book VI of the Code to excommunicate them; or (b) petition the bishops of New York and Illinois to enact particular legislation leading to their governors’ excommunications. I think both ideas are, for several reasons, problematic, but they seem within the bounds of what a Catholic could suggest. As for exploring the mechanics of such papal or episcopal canonical drafting, that’s beyond the scope of this blog. For now I simply note the idea. Again.
In the meantime, may I suggest prayers and fasting for Gov. Cuomo’s and Quinn’s repentance? They stand in great need of turning from the evils they support, and such acts on our part would improve the state of our souls, as well.
I have additional comment.
We get the priests and bishops we deserve.
Therefore, pray for and work to foster vocations to the priesthood. Encourage sound young men to become enter seminary. Future priests are out future bishops.
The Biological Solution is working on all of us. Over time the character of the episcopate in these USA will change over (if we still have a country and a Church here, that is). In what direction will the changes take us?
If you think that the present generation of leaders in the Church is less than optimal, think about the next generation and work with prayer and elbow-grease to make it happen.