“Pastoral charity”… note the phrase!
In one of his responses, the Cardinal said:
In the case of a politician or other public figure who acts against the moral law in a grave matter and yet presents himself to receive Holy Communion, the priest should admonish the person in question and then, if he or she persists in approaching to receive Holy Communion, the priest should refuse to give the Body of Christ to the person. The priest’s refusal to give Holy Communion is a prime act of pastoral charity, helping the person in question to avoid sacrilege and safeguarding the other faithful from scandal.
I would add, that we must prod the person to reflect more deeply about his actions. The same applies to censures such as excommunication: they are medicine.
Obviously a person who is absolved, is truly absolved. But the absolution is opened out to the rest of life and the life beyond. It is medicinal. The sacrament of penance isn’t the ultimate judgment.
All mercy, on this side of the grass, is medicinal.
When Our Lord showed the woman caught in adultery His mercy, He told her “Go and sin no more”. His mercy was medicinal. His Mercy was the drawing of the scalpel, the excision of the tumor, the debridement of the wound.
Augustine spoke and wrote of Christ as Medicus, the Physician. In terms understood well in the ancient world, by the state of medicine at the time, the doctor doesn’t stop cutting just because the patient is screaming for him to stop. For the mommy bloggers out there, it is the prick of the needle at the doctor’s office, even though little stupor mundi is writhing away from the white coat.
It is not charitable to lie to the sinner, or to ignore their sin.