KABLAM! An unforeseen consequence of Anglicanorum coetibus

Well well….

Anglicanorum coetibus is a gift that keeps on giving.

Anglicans are asked to respond to certain challenges in order to come into Catholic Communion.

They must make choices about who they desire to be.

To be Catholics, and have Communion with the Church, they are asked to live in a manner consistent with the Catholic doctrine and discipline they say they will embrace.

I found this today on Fratres (at least that is what I think it is called).

Francis Cardinal George asked to ban Senator Richard Durbin [D-IL] from receiving communion
December 11, 2009 — james mary evans

If you allow Durbin to defy and mock church teaching, and to glory over his victories in defeating the most precious right to life, you allow a sinner to elevate himself over the church and over the authority of the Holy Father.

Andy Martin

U. S. Senate candidate Andy Martin responds to Pope Benedict’s invitation to Anglicans (in the United States: Episcopalians) to join the Roman Catholic Church by asking how Cardinal George can tolerate the open defiance of church doctrine by Senator Durbin.


    December 11, 2009

    Francis Cardinal George
    Archbishop of Chicago
    835 N. Rush Street
    Chicago, IL 60611-2030

    Re: Senator Richard Durbin/Holy Communion

    Dear Cardinal George:

    I am a member of the Episcopal Church. Some years ago I studied for Holy Orders in my church, but I ultimately elected not to enter the ordained ministry. I though my secular work fighting corruption and working for the improvement of this state and the United States was an honorable calling.

    But I take my lay ministry very seriously. While I am unhesitating in seeking to be a servant of the people, I am always first and utmost a servant of Jesus Christ. The energy and grace which Jesus imparts to His believers allows me to continue the war against corruption in Illinois and Washington.

    Two months ago the Holy Father invited Episcopalians (Anglicans) such as me to rejoin the Roman Catholic Church. I was startled by the boldness of Pope Benedict’s invitation. And I have studied his words carefully.

    In the Note of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Father, the first paragraph challenges all of us [get this…] “who wish to enter into full visible communion The Note confirms that the holy sacrament of communion is a visible manifestation, perhaps the most visible manifestation, of our call to follow Christ.

    But before I can accept the Holy Father’s invitation to join the church, and before I can even make an informed and intelligent decision on how to decide, I need to ask you a clear question.

    If Holy Communion is such a “visible” and universal sacrament of the Church, how can you allow apostates such as Senator Richard Durbin to receive communion when Durbin mocks the church’s teachings on abortion and the right to life, both for the unborn and those facing the end of life? How indeed? [A good question.]

    Recently Bishop Thomas Tobin of Rhode Island became engulfed in a controversy involving the bishop’s private communication to Patrick Kennedy to refrain from accepting the sacrament because of Kennedy’s pro-abortion views.

    Earlier this week, Senator Durbin was on national television gloating over his success in defeating an anti-abortion provision for the so-called health care reform proposed by the president. In other words, Durbin not only acts contrary to church teaching, he visibly and openly defies church doctrine and gloats over his success in mocking and denying the teachings of his church. Durbin is no ordinary sinner.

    So when is the Archdiocese of Chicago going to follow the Diocese of Rhode Island and request that Senator Durbin refrain from receiving the sacrament in this archdiocese?

    If you allow Durbin to defy and mock church teaching, and to glory over his victories in defeating the most precious right to life, you allow a sinner to elevate himself over the church and over the authority of the Holy Father.

    I ask you to consider requesting that Senator Durbin refrain from receiving the sacrament of communion. I most respectfully ask you to explain to me how any church leader can tolerate the defiance of mockery for church teaching manifested by Senator Durbin.

    As a former U. S. Senator said on February 17, 2008, “Words? Just words? Don’t tell me words don’t matter

    Well, do they matter? Do the teachings of the church matter?

    Are your teachings as Archbishop “just words Or do your words regarding the sanctity of life have real meaning? If you believe in the truth behind your own words, how can you allow Senator Durbin to receive communion in your archdiocese even one more time? The Advent scripture for today invites us to reflect on the Gospel passage: “Wisdom is vindicated by her works [Matthew 11:19]

    Faithfully Yours in Christ,





About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Peggy R says:

    Does this mean that we Illinoisans have an alternative to weasel (recently divorced) Mark Kirk for US Senate? Also, a nice family guy, Catholic Andrew Andrzejweski, is running for governor. I don’t know if he has a chance. He’ll certainly have our primary vote.

    Yea, Andy Martin. Come on to Rome!

  2. quietbeginning says:

    Dead on, Mr. Martin!
    Cardinal George, I’m praying that you will make official Sen. Durbin’s precluding himself from receiving the Holy Eucharist because of his (so far) pertinacious adherence to a stance on abortion that is condemned by Holy Mother Church. We were taught as Catholics throughout the 1950’s that to pertinaciously persist in that which is condemned by the Church (i.e., something that is against a de fide teaching) is grounds for excommunication. We were also taught that such a person has already incurred excommunication latae sententiae (automatically, i.e.) even though they haven’t been formally excommunicated by their bishop.
    (Did I get the Church’s position right, Father Zuhlsdorf? Anyway, that’s how I’ve always understood it as a layman.)

  3. Marius2k4 says:

    *Flashes back (fuzzily) to an early-90’s commercial:* …”This is your church in scandal. Any questions?”

    I’m sure it went something like that…

  4. DavidJ says:

    Where is slamdunk.gif when you need it?

  5. I think it’s a beautiful letter, very eloquent and honest. I also think that we need to trust Cardinal George to handle this as he sees fit. Remember, +Tobin’s letter to Rep. Kennedy was a private correspondence, made public only because Kennedy was acting like a weasel. For all we know, Card. George may have sent just a letter to Sen. Durbin, or perhaps he will in the future, and we may just never know about it. Remember, it was Card. George who called Notre Dame’s decision to honor Obama an embarrassment, and he has a strong record of standing up for the rights for the unborn. I think it’s important we trust his judgment and discretion here.

  6. Fleeb says:

    Rock On! He’s got my vote!

    While we’re at it, can we ask the good shepherds of the Washington and Arlington diocese (where many of these “apostates” live) to do the same?

  7. Doc Angelicus says:

    Excellent. To bad this fellow isn’t running in my neck of the woods.

    Protestant ecclesiology kind of hinges on invisible communion, but Mr. Martin turns that on its head. Clearly, Mr. Martin’s views are more in union with Catholic doctrine, despite lack of visible communion, than Mr. Durbin’s, whose visible communion makes a mockery of the doctrinal chasm between him and Catholic doctrine. Mr. Martin does not claim union despite doctrinal differences, but rather he seems to want visible union to make manifest the doctrinal similarity. Mr. Durbin maintains visible union in order to justify and mask his doctrinal differences. One might ask, “Who’s the real Protestant here?” but the Protestants, however doctrinally misguided they may have been, at least had the guts to live the way they believed.

    Since he’s a politician, though, I cannot help but think this letter is also a little bit of a campaign tactic. Nonetheless, it being public may wind up putting pressure on His Eminence, which would not be a bad thing either. Mr. Martin does make it VERY clear what is at stake in letting these so-called Catholic pro-abortion politicians run amok among the faithful.

  8. Martial Artist says:


    I am not convinced that Mr. Martin is judging, as I understand what is meant by that word in Matthew 7:1-2. Of course, my understanding may not be fully adequate.

    What Mr. Martin is doing is asking the Archbishop a very pointed question, based on his understanding of the teachings of the church regarding who ought to partake of the Eucharist. And his question pertains to Mr. Durbin because of the the Senator’s very public comments on two matters about which the Church has spoken very clearly, to wit, (a) abortion {and in particular the public funding of same}, and (b) the statement(s) adopted by the USCCB, IIRC, concerning the actions of Catholics prominent in Public Life (can’t find the explicit reference at the moment). The latter item was much referenced, including on this website, with respect to Speaker Pelosi’s public positions and votes on abortion and related matters concerning the request from her Bishop that she refrain from presenting herself to receive the Eucharist, as well as the Washington Bishop’s reluctance to become involved should she do so within his diocese.

    Pax et bonum,
    Keith Töpfer

  9. markomalley says:

    Good for him.

  10. DisturbedMary says:

    That’s the Holy Spirit.

  11. Lee says:

    As for Richard’s counsel, “Judge not that you be not judged,” it is completely out of place. It is Durbin, Kerry, etc who have become judges of the law of God, of their own bishops, of the teaching of the Church, and of millions of unborn children. They, unjust judges, have condemned them to be hacked to death.

    A little later in the chapter of St. Matthew that Richard quotes, Our Lord says, “Whatever you wish that men would do for you, so do to them; for this is the law and the prophets.”

    If I should ever find myself in Durbin’s place, I would hope that my bishop would give me a very sound, public crack across the face to bring me to my senses. “Let the just man strike me, that is kindness.”

    How is it kindness to quietly escort one’s subjects to their doom, where they will see our Lord point to the heaps of slaughtered unborn and hear him say to them, “So long as you did it to one of these little ones, you did it to me.”

    Or, if I were unborn, I would hope that if those whose duty it is to proctect my life show no inclination to do so, they would be firmly disciplined by those whose duty it is to remind others of their duties.

    This “pastoral” silence is killing us.

  12. JosephMary says:

    We have been duped for years to that ‘do not judge’ thing that seems to mean do not even discern right from wrong, good from evil. Those of us who have been confirmed are indeed to judge these public blatant dissenting and evil actions of those in public life.

    Look where silence and the tolerance of evil has brought us. And where it is taking us…

  13. gloriainexcelsis says:

    Bravo! Let every Bishop take note.

  14. wanda says:

    Wow! That’s laying it all out there, isn’t it? Good honest, straight-forward question. I recommend prayer for Cardinal George. Keep us posted please, Father. Given the outcome Mr. Martin is looking for, let’s see if he holds up his end of the bargin and ‘comes home’.

  15. Ralph says:

    This is an area that once again reminds me, thank God I wasn’t called to Holy Orders!! I just don’t think there is an easy way to handle this very prevelent problem of “catholic in name only” pols like the Senator.

    Another reson to keep our Bishops in our prayers.

  16. Is it proper to write to a Bishop and suggest that they do the same with other politicians?

    I feel like to some degree as a Catholic we are called NOT to judge the heart of other Catholics, but at the same time public officials ACTIONS are held to a different standard. I wonder then if there is some *positive* duty on other Catholics to express our thoughts to our Bishop.

    For example there are 2 senators here in Alaska and they are both self proclaimed Catholics. One voted pro-life and one voted pro-abort on the health care issues. Do we have an obligation to write our Bishop and ask that they withold communion until they represent the faith and us as Catholics properly?

    If no duty exists, would it even be proper to write such a letter out of inquiry or suggestion?

  17. Lovely collection of ad hominem attacks you have there. As for this:

    Also, the Cardinal isn’t Durbin’s ordinary. Durbin lives in Springfield, not Chicago. The See of Springfield is vacant.

    I live in Springfield, and Durbin is officially a member of my parish, Blessed Sacrament, though so far as I know he hasn’t darkened the door there since our former pastor, Most Rev. Kevin Vann (now bishop of Fort Worth) banned him from receiving Communion. Now Durbin attends Mass in Chicago, where he receives Communion with impunity. So Cardinal George is, de facto, his ordinary. That aside, Cardinal George is a metropolitan, and Springfield is in his jurisdiction, so even if Durbin was going to Mass here, Cardinal George would STILL be his ordinary. Your legalisms are disingenuous at best.

  18. MichaelJ says:

    EoinOBolguidhir ,

    I do not live in Illinois, but I certainly would not characterize a man who advocates the wholesale murder of the most innocent among us as “a jerk”. Quite a bit of an understatement, don’t you think?

  19. EXCHIEF says:

    Perhaps if every one of us on this blog wrote similarly well reasoned letters to our Bishops who allow our own Durbin’s to blatantly flaunt Church teaching it might have an impact. Here in Oregon we have a so-called Catholic Governor who also defies Church teaching and it would appear he has not been challenged on it by his Ordinary.

  20. tewter says:

    Bishops are teachers of the faith. While Cardinal George may have approached Durbin in private about refraining from Holy Communion because of giving nationwide public scandal by supporting abortion,we cannot know that at this point. If Andy Martin is seriously considering swimming the Tiber, I think he has every right to ask, not tell, Cardinal George to clear up the issue he is raising. I took the letter to be asking.

    I see nothing disrespectful or arrogant or self-serving by writing an open letter to Cardinal George. The Cardinal is a public figure himself and should clearly state the Church teaching on abortion and weaseling politicians (I’m against it personally, but…). Durbin is worse than a weasel – he has no shame. It’s time all our bishops disabuse the cafeteria Catholics concerning their “good” standing in the Church.

    Those of us who are Catholic could not have written the letter Martin wrote. He is in a unique situation to say what he said. We can write letters comeing from our own unique situations and I think we should when circumstances call for it.

    I, personally don’t feel obligated to write to Cardinal George. He is not my bishop. But if a Missouri politician in my diocese did what Durbin got up and did, you can be sure I’d be writing my bishop. Durbin, Cardinal George, and Andy Martin all need our prayers.

  21. Roland de Chanson says:

    It seems to me bizarre in the extreme for an Episcopalian to be cajoling a Roman Catholic Cardinal on the finer points of canon law, especially when those points are, in the case of politicians, a source of debate within the Church itself.

    If Martin’s sanctity were as conspicuous as his sanctimony, he could have long since availed himself of the Pastoral Provision, or even converted outright in the time-honoured manner. If the longstanding anti-Christian actions of his own denomination have not so repulsed him to flee that slough of iniquity, I doubt that an Apostolic Constitution would attract him. Does he think the author of that Constitution is ignorant of the state of affairs in the Church in this country? That he is blind to the dilemma of Catholic politicans and their civic responsibilities? Is he so insolent as to think a Roman prelate could be brow-beaten by a pertinacious public heretic such as he? Would he swagger into the midst of the curia and instruct the sacred Congregations in their obligations?

    Before he can “accept the Holy Father’s invitation” he has conditions that must be met. In his hubris he now instructs Peter how to be a fisher of men.

    How blessed is the paltry bishopric of Rome that this sectarian of Mr. Rowan Williams and Ms. Jefferts Schori and Mr. Jean Robinson and Ms. Mario Glasstool has at long last deigned even to consider converting, if only his public hectoring of an evidently insufficiently orthodox prelate is heeded.

    He is an arrogant soapbox solon grandstanding for the huzzahs of the vulgar. Cave vulpem.

  22. He is simply asking for the life of faith to be visible by all, prelates included. In the case of prelates, their responsibility includes such visible actions for public grave sinners. Regardless of what happens, hopefully Mr. Martin will not let any lack of action by a particular prelate discredit the whole Church. Of course scandal does that type of thing, whether by commission or omission. Let’s hope this major prod accomplishes the good.

  23. “Obedience for me but not for thee” — yup, that’s the way it looks a lot of the time.

  24. Maltese says:

    “Wow!” is right! An Episcopalian schooling a Catholic on abortion! Well, I suppose Anglo-Catholics and SSPXers are both groups who could re-inject some basic natural law into the Church. For goodness sake, even here in the deep south I feel the average Baptist has a major hand up on us regarding basic natural law (yeah, yeah, the Catholic hierarchy is basically sound, but 95% of parishioners, to give only one example, of child-bearing age engage in the mortal sin of contraception.)

  25. zgietl says:

    Sean-a technicality, but the Metropolitan has very little authority outside of his own see. As such, Cardinal George could ban Durbin from receiving Communion in the Chicago Archdiocese, but not in Springfield. Currently, that would be up to Mgsr. Kemme. The only person who could instruct a diocesan bishop as to his duty is the Pope and the dicastries that work in his name.

  26. TNCath says:

    This will no doubt warrant an interesting, yet possibly circuitous response from Cardinal George.

  27. Tominellay says:

    What a clever politician, this Andy Martin. He may really be against abortion, but when I read between the lines I see clearly that he hates Catholicism and Pope Benedict XVI.

  28. Oneros says:

    While points brought up about Mr Martin’s potential political motives are troubling somewhat…I have to say, we Catholics should take a lesson from this guy.

    I mean, are Catholics so meek and deferrent towards sometimes very negligent Authority that NON-Catholics actually have more leverage when it comes to applying pressure to the bishops?

    This guy has said something very smart: you’ve invited episcopalians to full and visible communion…so where is the full and visible communion? Is what the Catholic Church offers really any less divided or un-compromised than the Anglican Communion if you don’t put your money where your mouth is when it comes to “Catholics” who blatantly disregard Church teaching and human decency??

    It’s a sort of moral blackmail in a way, but a brilliant one: if you want us non-Catholics to join the Church, show us that that Church is different than the other watered-down sold-out denominations, show us that you actually have a backbone! Then we’ll join up.

    I definitely sense a change in the wind in the past few months. Catholics and potential Catholics are not taking mediocrity and waffling from their bishops anymore. Suddenly, all sorts of people are publicly and privately “calling them out” on things, on the one hand, and expressing support on the other. Like with the Calgary communion thing.

    This is the true and healthy infusion of the spirit of Civil Society and, yes, “democratic” attitudes into the Church. Not that the hierarchy is going to be elected by the people or anything like that, but that Catholics seem to be finally fed-up enough to get over their Feudal fear of the bishops and start voicing dissatisfaction instead of just “taking it” in blind obedience and patient suffering like Catholics used to be advised to do. The Institutional collective action problem finally seems to be crumbling.

    Imagine if all sorts of Catholics had a “red envelope campaign” mailing BISHOPS to protest, politely…all sorts of things! The continuing reception of communion by infanticidal politicians. Communion in the Hand. Banal liturgy. Heterodox nuns.

    Of course, bishops tend to take faithful Catholics for granted. They arent particularly concerned about addressing our concerns, because they know we won’t leave. But we do control the purse-strings. Catholics could start a campaign telling their bishop they will donate to some other Catholic charity, to a Latin Mass group, or some such thing…rather than their parish or diocese…until certain things are cleaned up.

    And, it seems, potential converts have a certain leverage, or at least bold-ness that Catholics lack.

    And, I’d bet, potential Vocations would have a certain leverage too, especially in places where they are desperate for them. Young men considering the seminary or who are already in seminary should perhaps be a little more bold in expressing dissatisfaction to the powers-that-be. I know in the past this was avoided because men feared rocking the boat lest they get “weeded out”…but, honestly, I now think seminarians could probably call their bluff. They NEED men, desperately. And there are now willing sympathetic bishops who will take men brave enough to stick their neck out and risk persecution if their actions do cause them to be “weeded out”.

    Faithful, traditional Lay Catholics need to start realizing that we have a LOT of lobbying power with the bishops that can be used discretely and politely without being dissentful or disrespectful or “disobedient” on the one hand, but without being fatalistically passive and submissively resigned on the other.

    The bishops and priests have responded to Liberal “pressure” on things like liturgy (often times you hear that it is one witchy middle-aged woman who has a strangle-hold over the whole place) because the liberals have been willing to be BOLD and to apply that pressure. Whereas traditional and conservative Catholics have had a sort of twiddling-thumbs attitude about the whole thing, too afraid to question the authorities. But I think the old superstitious hold they had over Catholics with guilt and fear is falling away, and more and more faithful Catholics are willing to be bold and call the bishops out on their incredible negligence.

  29. “What a clever politician, this Andy Martin. He may really be against abortion, but when I read between the lines I see clearly that he hates Catholicism and Pope Benedict XVI.”
    Tominelly: Can you elaborate, please?
    I don’t understand what you mean here; I’ve read this post three times and I don’t see how he hates Catholicism or Benedict XVI.
    It looks to me like he is asking for some accountability. Words do mean things. And actions do, too.

  30. Sorry I typed your name incorrectly. It should read “Tominellay”.

  31. EoinOBolguidhir says:

    For Sean P. Dailey

    “…Cardinal George is a metropolitan, and Springfield is in his jurisdiction, so even if Durbin was going to Mass here, Cardinal George would STILL be his ordinary. Your legalisms are disingenuous at best.”

    A review of Canon 436 may disabuse you of your misconceptions regarding the role of archbishop in sufragan sees.

    -Can. 436 §1. In the suffragan dioceses, a metropolitan is competent:

    1/ to exercise vigilance so that the faith and ecclesiastical discipline are observed carefully and to inform the Roman Pontiff of abuses, if there are any;
    2/ to conduct a canonical visitation for a cause previously approved by the Apostolic See if a suffragan has neglected it;
    3/ to designate a diocesan administrator according to the norm of cann. ? 421, §2, and ? 425, §3.
    §2. Where circumstances demand it, the Apostolic See can endow a metropolitan with special functions and power to be determined in particular law.
    §3. The metropolitan has no other power of governance in the suffragan dioceses…

    He is not the ordinary of the faithful in sufragan sees. His role would be, at most, to inform Rome of lapses in the faith and ecclesiastical discipline on the part of his sufragan bishop, if there were any.

    I will concede that the ad hominem attacks were far better stated by Roland. But you do nothing yourself to argue away my belief that this man is exploiting – and insulting – the Catholic Church and its hierachs for political gain. I assume that you recognize that for the truth, or do you live in some goo goo utopia?

    As for my “legalisms,” they were not disingenuous. I’m not sure if your saying I was dishonest was solely the result of your ignorance, but I’m certain you didn’t take adequate time to check your facts. If you don’t make sure you know what your talking about before you make these assertions, maybe you shouldn’t be posting online, or managing online magazines.

  32. Mark01 says:

    I’m not really sure I see where people are coming from as far as how this is just politically motivated and the guy hates the Church. But regardless, that really misses the point. What we should be discussing are the points this man brings up, which are great points, not why he is bringing them up. He makes a lot of great points.

  33. Random Friar says:

    If we publicly profess to follow the faith handed down to us by the Apostles, if we claim to have unbroken apostolic lineage, if we swear to follow Him in public and private life… then much will be asked of us, even from those outside Communion. In a way, it is meet and fitting. The gentiles were supposed to point to Zion and say “Come, let us climb the LORD’S mountain, to the house of the God of Jacob, That he may instruct us in his ways, and we may walk in his paths.”

    Instead, many of us act and speak as if presuming “The Lord is with us! We are safe, safe forever.”

    Perhaps it is better to bear Shimei’s hurling of stones than Ziba’s flatteries for a season.

  34. EoinOBolguidhir says:

    I agree with most here that Durbin’s being allowed to communicate when his actions flagrantly contradict the teachings of the Church is scandalous. I don’t think anyone who frequents this site would disagree.

    But does he know for certain that Cardinal George hasn’t spoken or written to Senator Durbin? What if he has already privately done so? Martin is injuring the reputation of the Cardinal for personal gain by insinuating that he is remiss in his duty to the instruct the faithful and in his opposition of to abortion. He has no reason to believe that either of those things are true. But he creates a different kind of scandal in saying the leaders of Church are weak in their duty to the Church and the truth, and it is a scandal that might lead some to ask that if a Cardinal, of all people, is indeed lax in the practice of his office, what kind of moral authority can the Church really possess? Perhaps what they teach, someone might say, is not true if they themselves don’t act appropriately. So even if he believes abotion is wrong, he is exploiting recent situations in the Church (again, Tobin and the Cardinals recent media attention from his book and the USCCB) for his own nefarious political gain. He can’t care about our Church if he is exploiting it so. And it makes me wonder in what else he is dissembling.

  35. Oneros says:

    “But he creates a different kind of scandal in saying the leaders of Church are weak in their duty to the Church and the truth, and it is a scandal that might lead some to ask that if a Cardinal, of all people, is indeed lax in the practice of his office, what kind of moral authority can the Church really possess?”

    But people ARE asking that. It’s no scandal to say what everyone is already thinking.

  36. Peggy R says:


    You do have pro-abortion Catholic Claire McCaskill who, while she did not gloat over defeating Nelson–to my knowledge, did vote against it and made public comments against it. She’s fortunate Abp. Burke has gone. But I don’t think Abp. Carlson will be particularly meek.

  37. Tantum Ergo says:

    Andy Martin is right. When the offense is both grave and public, the repremand should be public, lest those observing these shenannigans be led into the ditch also. Does anyone remember the excommunication scene from “Becket” with the tall candlesticks turned upside down and extinguished on the floor and then thrown down? Now, THAT communicated loud and clear by symbolically snuffing out the light of Christ which comes through His Church that murder would not be tollerated. These pro-abortion “catholics” have shown only obstinacy in their support of legalized, premeditated mass murder. If honey won’t work then maybe it’s time to get the fly swatter.

  38. As an Illinois resident, I don’t know if this guy is the answer, though I agree with and accept his points here. What I do know is that we CAN NOT accept Mark Kirk. He’s a turncoat worm, supports embryonic stem cell use, supports aggressive contraception and is pro abortion as well. Mark Kirk is not to be trusted and his errors in moral judgement put him on par with B.O. I’d rather vote for an upturned broom with a bucket for a head than Mark Kirk. Take care not to be fooled by him. He’s a faux conservative and a disgrace.

  39. CarpeNoctem says:

    I’d be hard pressed to say that these comments are an expression of hatred toward the Church and the Pope… they are sharp and pointed, but the power of his comments is precisely the power of the tu quoque argument: Anglicans (Episcopalians) may have gay bishops, women priestesses, screwy theology, and all sorts of signs of decay which is openly permitted and welcomed and praised under the rubric of being ‘inclusive’, BUT we Catholics are just as guilty… we are too afraid of speaking up and speaking out of the decay represented by our own undisciplined, dissenting politicians, our timid witness to the respect for life in some quarters, and our filibustering of so many important issues of the day by promoting “table discussion” and writing up “mission statements” rather than going out there and pounding the pavement, putting our bucks into real hard-core advocacy and lobbying, and finally by refusing to ‘call out’ sheep who have gone astray– both for the good of the individual as well as the good of the whole community. We choose instead to keep the peace, keep silent, play along to get along, and just be inoffensive, inclusive, and one voice among the many… rather than a voice in the wilderness. In many ways we are guilty of the same sin as Anglicanism… perhaps not in degree, but certainly in specification.

    This politician is simply calling it as he sees it. Why join the Church? By not going after neglectful politicians, Catholics appear to be just as tolerant of the evils of the world as the Anglicans. I think he is looking for an excuse to stay Episcopalian and we are providing the cover for this by our own inaction on this most important moral question which will define our age. I hear a ‘seeker’ in those first few paragraphs not unlike so many Episcopalians I have helped ‘Swim the Tiber’ who come to the Church often in spite of the Church in its contemporary condition… they do by reason and faith and conviction, having to hold their nose and look the other way when the choir strums up another verse of “Gather Us In”.

    Cardinal George is a good man and one whom I know works most effectively ‘behind the scenes’. I am sure that he has been doing so in this particular case. I, too, would not be surprised to see some kind of comment-perhaps beyond his usual ‘circuitous’ way of speaking-on the Durbin matter in particular and in the more general problem of all those Catholic politicians who voted against the Nelson and Stupak amendments.

    I would think that the brazened pride expressed by some Catholic politicians in lamenting Stupak and shooting down Nelson is getting to the point where Rome needs to weigh in with an authoritative statement on these pols.

  40. muckemdanno says:

    I tend to agree with Chanson and Bolguidhir. It sounds like Mr. Martin is using the Church to satisfy his own political ambition. On the other hand, it appears that he supports more Catholic positions than most other Republicans or Democrats. He has been consistent in opposing unjust killing which is forbidden by the 5th Commandment…to include both abortion AND unnecessary wars:


    So, if I lived in Illinois he would get my vote.

  41. ThomasL says:

    You know I agree with his letter, but I find two things troubling. It seems like he could be using the Church for his own political gain and after reading his wikipedia page, I can’t help but think he’s a bit of a loon. Not exactly the guy I want leading this cause.

  42. isabella says:


    I too live in Alaska. I think our Archbishop is finally beginning to stretch his wings and act like a bishop; he needs encouragement right now more than a barrage of critical letters. He has softened his heart on the Latin Mass and recently written an article on how people have lost their sense of sin. But with that said, can you really see him refusing Communion to our ruthless pro-abort senator?

    I wrote to senator B twice and received no response other than a tirade about people who only get their information from TV (I don’t even own a TV any more – I read the bill.) I called his staffers three times to express my concern about abortion in the health care bill. Each time, they told me there *was* no provision for abortion in the bill. If I thought there was, then I was poorly informed. (They hovered on the edge of calling me a stupid TV-watching redneck, but didn’t quite cross that line). Behind that baby face lies a very ambitious, cunning, and mean-spirited man.

    This senator is a liar and apostate who promotes abortion while calling himself Catholic because this is mostly a pro-life state. He has also allegedly abused e-mail while mayor of Anchorage, and some of the other things Sarah Palin was accused of, but has gotten a free pass where she was destroyed by the press.

    So do you *really* think he will pay anything more than polite lip service to our Archbishop? Remember when the Archbishop let him use the Cathedral to promote his political agenda when he was still only mayor of Anchorage? Who has the power in *that* relationship?

    Didn’t mean to go on and on, but what CAN anybody do with senators like this that will work, short of getting them out of office? Good luck with that – he only barely defeated a convicted felon (later cleared). Funny about the timing on that.

    I am tempted to picket his “town halls” with black candles chanting the Dies Irae, but would just look like a nut.

    If anybody has an idea for an effective way to get this evil man to represent his constituency instead of his personal vision, please let me know. A lot of us are stuck with senators like him. (No, I did not vote for him). I agree with the people who think Rome needs to speak. He can be Catholic, or pro-abortion, but not both.

  43. Interesting comments from all of you. Regarding Mr. Martin joining the Church, it might be interesting to see whether he is attracted to the Novus Ordo Church, or the Trad. Church. His real motives might be more clear. In other words, is his interest in Catholicism heavy or lite, if he has any real interest at all. To my mind this sounds like a political ploy. After all, he has no status in the Church as others here have pointed out.
    Regarding bishops, politicians and the Eucharist, the politicians can fall back on precedent. You see, for decades the bishops were quite silent on the subject of abortion, and in law, SILENCE IMPLIES ASSENT. We see some bishops taking some steps now, but too many bishops were giving Communion to pro-abort politicians for too many years. THEY STILL ARE! Remember, Ted Kennedy had TWO CARDINALS bury him; one in Mass. and one in Virginia and he was pro-abortion and pro-pervert “marriage”. If he were saintly, would he have had four cardinals? Or none? Be patient. The kernel of the true faith is beginning to sprout and real change will be apparent quite soon.

  44. bookworm says:

    Andy Martin (whose full name is Anthony Robert Martin Trigona) is the Harold Stassen, or maybe more like the Lar Daly, of Illinois politics — a not-so-lovable perennial candidate for numerous offices, with a penchant for filing frivolous lawsuits against people who criticize or oppose him.

    He is a hard-core “Birther” and anti-Semite who was denied admission to the Illinois bar back in the 1970s because of his erratic and paranoid behavior. No matter how pro-life he says he is, I would not vote for him for dogcatcher, let alone U.S. Senator.

    That being said, however… this is one of those instances when a “stopped clock” happens to be almost right on time.

    I also live in Springfield and it has been my understanding that Durbin does not receive Communion in his home diocese. Whether he was formally “banned” by former Bishop (now Archbishop) Lucas, or whether he simply chose not to challenge Msgr. Vann’s statement in 2005 that he would not be allowed to receive Communion at his home parish, I do not know.

    I have heard, though, that Durbin attends Mass in Chicago or D.C. whenever possible because he can “get away” with receiving Communion in those dioceses. Martin’s request to Cardinal George is probably based on that presumption. But, Durbin’s official home diocese is still Springfield.

    Whoever is chosen to be our next bishop can expect to have this ecclesiastical and political hot potato lobbed right into his lap… so I encourage you all to start praying for him (and all new and soon to be bishops) as frequently and fervently as possible.

    Unfortunately there are many other pro-abort “Catholic” politicians in Illinois, including the current governor, several candidates for governor and other offices, and numerous state legislators. However, nearly all of the major offenders in this regard are from Chicago and go home on weekends, and are rarely if ever seen attending Mass in Springfield.

  45. avecrux says:

    I would be interested in seeing a similar question posed by the Anglicans in the UK regarding the admission of Tony Blair into “full communion” without having to renounce his very public views on life issues, homosexuality, contraception that are contrary to Church teaching.

  46. GordonB says:

    I tend to agree that this is at least motivated for political gain, I also think this individual has a legitimate concern and question here— I would like to see more protection of the Eucharist in all circumstances, and thats really what the issue is here— it means something to be Catholic.

  47. Hans says:

    Richard, Matthew 18:15-18. No one has claimed to know the fate of Mr. Durbin’s soul, but his actions are objectively evil.

    Sean P. Dailey wrote, “I live in Springfield, and Durbin is officially a member of my parish, Blessed Sacrament, though so far as I know he hasn’t darkened the door there since our former pastor, Most Rev. Kevin Vann (now bishop of Fort Worth) banned him from receiving Communion.

    That is interesting to note.

    One problem is that whatever Cardinal George might do, a large fraction of his priests are openly defiant of any sort of orthodox authority, as one can see by counting the number of frangible chalices still in use in this archdiocese.

  48. Rich says:

    Dick Durbin.

  49. JonM says:

    This is a very fair and incisive letter. It directly indicts the ‘win hearts and minds’ nonsense and demonstrates the apparent schizophrenic behavior towards sacramental life.

    You non-Confirmed cannot come to Communion though you might believe in the fullness of the Catholic faith (which is fair because we have to ‘do’ things in our continuing conversion and sometimes that means sitting out). Yet, you big shot politician can openly defy core doctrine and lead a life of objective scandal.

    I can personally attest that this approach has driven away so many mainline Protestants who would have come over years ago from their rot house (many I know have given up on any active religious practice).

    Mr. Martin clearly identifies it. As someone who is a millimeter from full communion with the Body of Christ, he identifies a very clear double standard applied by some entrusted with the sacraments and education of the faith.

    What needs to happen is a broader and across the board resurgence for respect for the Eucharist. WAY too many treat it as just a ritual (but somehow do not see Confession as an equally significant a rite).

    St. Paul wrote clearly that it was seriously wrong to receive when in a state of serious sin.

    I see this only changing when the Church uniformly pursues a Confession renewal. No Confession, no Communion.

    And a good first step is telling these 15 that they need to publicly repent or be denied sacramental life within the Church.

  50. sarumuse says:

    The Apostolic Constitution has not yet been implemented, and because of this there is a lot of media spin and manipulation from clergy who would like to keep Anglicans away from their “business as usual”. Personal Ordinariates will be under the direct jurisdiction of the Holy See and not local Bishops’ Conferences. Also, the Apostolic onstitution itself mentions that specific norms will be issued for each Ordinariate, in addition to the Constitution and the complementary norms we already have, according to the particular situation of the clergy and lay people forming it.

    There is a blog run mainly by clergy and staff of the Anglican Church in America (member Church of the TAC) cathedral of Orlando, Florida. The main purpose of this blog is to educate and inform people (especially our own faithful) in a true understanding of what the Holy Father intends for both “intra-mural” and “extra-mural” Anglicans as well as Catholic clergy who are former Anglicans.

    Here is the link to the Anglo-Catholic blog – http://www.theanglocatholic.com/

    Fr. Anthony

  51. r7blue1pink says:

    I think Martin wont get a public answer first off. We who have been born and raised in Chicago know that the “good ole boy club” is very alive and very real. The evidence mounts on a daily basis.

    Our upcoming primaries are Feb 2nd. We have a slew of Catholic candidates running for office. Some experienced, some not, some CINO’s, some not.

    Right now amongst the pro-life community & organizations, Dan Proft is being endorsed for Governor, Patrick Hughes for Senator running against Kirk. Congressional districts are too filling up with solid practicing Catholics, Paul Mitchell for one.

    The republicans running here are more conservative this time around and are NOT afraid to challenge the politcal machine..

    Keep praying for Cardinal George!! and for all of us who have been trying to make a difference in this LAnd of Lincoln!

  52. bookworm says:

    Paul Mitchell, author of the “Thoughts of a Regular Guy” blog, is running for state representative, NOT Congress. Sure wish I could vote for him but I’m not in his district.

    Most of the current GOP candidates for governor have pro-life voting records and/or histories, although not all of them have been formally endorsed by pro-life organizations. All but one of them are Catholic, and the one that isn’t (a Methodist) does have a mostly pro-life voting record.

    Conventional wisdom in Illinois politics holds that candidates who are pro-life or otherwise “too conservative” can’t win statewide elections. Hopefully we can prove that wrong this time.

  53. r7blue1pink says:

    You betcha bookworm! We WILL prove em wrong and will set the precedent for other states as well! If we can do it here in IL, it can be done elsewhere! I totally think the line has been drawn and people are just fed up with the way things are going. There will be no room for moderates and I think most independants are going to swing far to the right because the left has abandoned them…

    And yes, Paul is running for state office..my bad..Im not in his district either but i follow him on FB.

  54. Dave N. says:

    All I would say about Cdl. George is one more year as president of USCCB and two more years until retirement.

  55. William H. Phelan wrote: it might be interesting to see whether he is attracted to the Novus Ordo Church, or the Trad. Church

    There are not two churches. There is one Church, and in that one Church there are various liturgical rites. The Latin Rite exists in two forms, the Novus Ordo and the Tridentine. The former is the Ordinary Form, the latter is the Extraordinary Form. But whether one worships in the Ordinary or Extraordinary Form, they are always part of the one Church.

  56. catholicmidwest says:

    Well, this certainly sounds like a case of the “pot calling the kettle black.” I expect if he can stomach the aimless worthlessness of the Anglican Church, then he can stomach a little organizational trouble on our part.

    Perhaps he just doesn’t want to become Catholic and this is his excuse? He can do what he wants, excuses are probably not necessary, unless he has a compulsion towards one….just saying.

  57. Ferde Rombola says:

    Oneros has it right on both of his most recent posts on this thread. Catholics don’t communicate to well with their bishops. I’ve decided to write mine (Cardinal O’Malley) and tell him my wife and I are through giving him money until he decides publicly to defend the faith from the heretics who populate Massachusetts politics. I live in the most rabid pro-abortion, pro-homosexual state in the Union. I’m not interested in private communication, which does nothing but give the offending party license to continue to defy the Church. No public condemnation of sin, no money. He’ll understand that.

    And, BTW, I think this grandstanding play by Mr. Martin is so transparent I wonder how he let himself go through with it.

  58. Tito Edwards says:

    All & Dave N.,

    If Cardinal George does nothing to the heretic Father Pfleger, do you think he’ll do anything about Mr. Durbin?

    And even though Cardinal George’s term is ending as USCCB President, he will be succeeded be the even more spineless and flip-doodley Bishop Kicanas of Tucson.

    Where is our Saint Ambrose!

    Ora pro nobis!

  59. John 6:54 says:

    Cardinal George, or any other Bishop besides Bp Tobin, the faithful are waiting for your answer. How much worse are you going to let it get?

  60. EoinOBolguidhir says:

    Hey John 6:54

    Cardinal George suspended Pfleger for in June 2008. You can confirm this on exotic sources like Wikipedia. It wasn’t for long, but it did the trick. I haven’t heard a peep out of him since.

  61. catholicmidwest says:

    Too bad he didn’t take him off the payroll. We have way too many hangers-on who don’t serve the church but do get a check in the mail, including a lot of our worst dissident and criminal nutjobs.

  62. John 6:54 says:

    Some how I think Dick Durbin would feel right at home in Fr. Pfleger’s parish. Will Wikipedia tell me that?

    If one has a leaky pipe in their house they best fix it, if you don’t you soon may not have a house. My fear is the bishops forgot where the shut-off valve is, and are ignoring the flood.

  63. God forgive me if I am sounding a bit arrogant or nasty here, but until bishops begin to start being bishops, this insanity is going to continue.
    The USCCB is not going to get its act together.
    Where is the teaching of the Vatican II Ecumenical Council that bishops are in charge of their own dioceses? This is the cry of the “dissenters”: bishops have domain over their own territories.
    But when will other bishops besides His Excellencies Tobin, Buskewitz, Finn, Baumann, Burke, et. al. start to act on the authority given by them by God in their episcopal ordination? When????

  64. mfg says:

    Catholics, Ordinary and Extraordinary, Protestants and others: Nota Bene: There are very, very few Bishop Tobins,Archbishop Burkes, etc, a pathetic few! Cardinal George does not find himself among them. When I wrote him about Notre Dame, he replied “…he had not the authority…” I suspect if he answers Andy Martin’s letter it will be something along that line. Until someone dressed in red or purple takes up the authority, and many others follow, as Christ took up His cross, we will linger in Limbo. Who was it, St. John Chrysistom (sp), who observed that the ‘floors of hell are paved with the skulls of bishops’.

  65. MichaelJ says:


    How can you be so positive that Andy Martin is using this issue for political gain? certainly not from this article. How is Matin “injuring the reputation of the Cadinal, but you are not when you wrote :”I agree with most here that Durbin’s being allowed to communicate when his actions flagrantly contradict the teachings of the Church is scandalous”?

  66. Hidden One says:

    Nota Bene:

    “If you have not the highest reverence for the priesthood and for the religious state, it is not true that you love God’s Church.”
    — St. Josemaría Escrivá

  67. bookworm says:

    “How can you be so positive that Andy Martin is using this issue for political gain?”

    Because he has a long history of using nearly EVERY issue for his own (percieved) political gain, or for the political “loss” of anyone who happens to offend him. Google his full name (Anthony Robert Martin Trigona) to see what I mean.

    While I agree he raises a good question in this letter, I personally remain convinced that he is acting more out of a desire to make Sen. Durbin and Cardinal George look bad, than out of a genuine interest in conversion. But I could be wrong.

  68. Tito Edwards says:

    Hidden One:

    On the Sin of Omission from the Catholic Encyclopedia 1911 A.D. edition, “Omission” is here taken to be the failure to do something one can and ought to do.”

    Cardinal George has failed in many respects to be a shepherd to his flock.

    It was one thing to be a priest. It is another thing to be a shepherd of priests and make sure your flock does not leave you.

  69. MichaelJ says:

    Thanks bookworm
    It’s quite sad that real or perceived ulterior motives can so completely obscure the truth in any message. That being said, I still cannot quite connect the dots. What could Andy Martin hope do gain by making Sen. Durbin and Cardinal George look bad? Is he running against Senator Durbin or do you suppose it is simply the “make yourself look better by making others look worse” ploy?

  70. bookworm says:

    “Is he running against Senator Durbin”?

    No, Martin is seeking the GOP nomination (primary is Feb. 2) for Obama’s old Senate seat, the one Gov. Blago attempted to “sell” and which is now occupied by Roland Burris. I think he is simply trying to discredit Democrats in general, but it might be better to just let them discredit themselves :-)

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