“Does it apply to murderers and pedophiles?”

There is a good post at Fr. Hunwicke’s place pertaining to the admittance of the civilly remarried to Holy Communion. With my emphases:

Updating

One gathers … as we grandly say in England … that brilliant ways are being mooted in Synodo for squaring the circle: formally maintaining Catholic sexual morality while letting people off the hook of having to try, with the help of grace, to adhere it. (There was a time when English Protestants claimed that ‘Subtle Jesuits’ could “prove that Black was White”.) One of these Brilliant Ways is Graduality or Gradualism.

Another is the old Liberal Protestant trick of talking about morality as an ideal rather than as a casuistic.

Another, that we must be more polite about people in certain situations and not call them Hurtful Names.

The Hunwicke test for diagnosing clever but shoddy dodges is threefold:
(1) Can you square it with the Sermon on the Mount and the ethical teaching of S Paul?
(2) Can you square it with the Lord’s parables and teaching about ‘we do not know the Day or the Hour’?
(3) Does it apply to murderers and pedophiles?

Whew.

Check his blog often.

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13 Responses to “Does it apply to murderers and pedophiles?”

  1. chantgirl says:

    “If it feels good do it.” “It’s between me and God.” “I was born this way.” “Who are you to judge me?” “I have a right to be happy.” “I’m personally opposed, but I can’t force my morality on someone else.” “Times are different.” “Stay out of my bedroom.”

    Any of these arguments used in defense of murder and pedophilia sound ridiculous (but are still used by nambla and planned parenthood).

  2. MonkChanan says:

    The synod is using an apostate way of talking.
    Which makes this,
    The First Synod of the Great Apostasy.
    Graduality My Donkey!

  3. Siculum says:

    Thank you Father Hunwicke! I have wondered if I was a crazed fool for asking the same question (3#) for years.

  4. ‘Scuse me, Fr Hunwicke, but I made a similar point some time ago on this very blog in the combox.

    I said that this is what certain elements and individuals within the Church had been doing all that time – not only were paedophiles admitted to Holy Communion, but were actually saying the Masses and running the dioceses, with minimal consequences, for decades.

    I speculated that it was this fascinating discovery that was helping to drive the much more relaxed approach to admitting the divorced and remarried to Holy Communion. Why the heck not? Everyone else gets to receive Holy Communion, regardless of whether they’re in a state of grace or not.

  5. Phil_NL says:

    Well, in all honesty, there is a problem here, as one could also hold that the current practice , if one follows the rules, could be considered to fail this test on at least the 2nd and 3rd counts.

    The point being that a murderer could enter the confessional, confess and receive absolution, and walk up to the Eucharist the next minute – and strictly speaking, if he was given absolution, he’d be justified in doing so.

    A person, born and bred a protestant, leading a saintly life except for the one day when he placed chewing gum on the seat of his least favorite teacher at NoBrainsHere high school, married, divorced, married a fine woman and converted to the true Church, doesn’t have that luxury. He can walk into the confessional, but cannot walk out of it and present himself for communion. He has no immediate way to make his spiritual affairs in order.

    If – quod Deus advertat – the Church would collapse at the recessional hymn, the foundation finally giving out after being attacked by the discordant tones of guitar music for decades, killing all present, the second person would likely have more trepidation about what would follow.

    Now I know there’s a perfectly valid argument to be made for this situation based on the intent to reform one’s behavior: a murderer can resolve not to murder anymore, a peadophile can resolve to stay clear of children (although one would still much prefer having him behind bars…), but a married person cannot, on his own, reach that same intent. Not only would it be extremely hard to form such an intent in a person who is, on all other accounts, happily married, but even resolving to end the second marriage or to henceforth live like brother and sister is not something that can be decided on one’s own. Either decision would require the consent of the spouse, who’d have rights in that as well. And then I’ve not even arrived yet at the argument of those who would consider a second marriage scandalous and would like to see some visible renounciation of that ‘public’ state of sin, which adds even more difficulties.

    In sum, the point I want to make is twofold:
    – These ‘smell tests’ can backfire. You don’t even need a Jesuit for that.
    – There are valid issues to be discussed at the Synod, as it clearly is worrisome that the far more grevious sinner can avail himself of the Church’s sacaraments and be sure of the Lord’s forgiveness much more easily and quickly than the person who made the mistake of marrying after divorce perhaps – as in the example above might be – not even believing that marriage is insolluble when he entered his first one.

    That doesn’t mean that remarrieds should be admitted to Communion, nor that the Synod isn’t is severe danger of being hijacked, as such debates often are. But it does mean we have lots of food for thought. And that it would be a great grace and blessing if somehow, a way could be found to ensure people can attend to the state of their soul on short notice. It might be needed.

  6. Martlet says:

    Well yes. Mercy applies as much to murderers and pedophiles as to anyone else. The key is repentance and a firm resolution not to commit sin again.

  7. acardnal says:

    As the late Msgr Wm. Smith would teach, “All social engineering is preceded by verbal engineering.”

    “It’s not abortion, it’s pro-choice.”

  8. DeGaulle says:

    At least a murderer might actually intend to sin no more, unless he’s an enthusiastic serial killer, but someone in an adulterous marriage is most likely determined to persevere in his sin.

  9. MikeM says:

    Rather than relaxing the rules, the Church needs to provide people with guidance about the best moral courses that they can take. There’s one issue of people who live in sin with no remorse. But, there’s another with people who divorce, “remarry,” spend ten years with their new “spouse,” having three children, and then DO feel remorse. When you look at the Kasper-ite position, it’s to ignore the lack of remorse of the first group, while telling the second group “Eh, whatever…” Which group do they think their helping? The first, whose lack of concern for God’s will is a matter of serious concern in every facet of life? Or the second, whose desire to find a sensible way to live in accordance with God’s will they’re snubbing?

  10. Grumpy Beggar says:

    This “hurtful names” angle is anything but new. It is the battle cry ( perhaps “mantra” is the more comprehensive descriptive) of the homosexual activists’/militants’ campaign, even as far back as the Stonewall Riots , when in 1973 they succeeded in systematically terrorizing/intimidating the APA into removing homosexuality from its list of disorders . . . nothing scientific or medical about it at all – just pure intimidation. Two days ago a CNS article , Synod Fathers Ask: Does the Church Need to Watch its Language ? ,confirms we’ve now reached a point where even the word “disorder” is being proposed in certain Church circles as something “hurtful”. That is a dangerous thing

    If anyone isn’t sure of its meaning yet, please take a moment and look up the definition of the word “sophistry”. Sophistry is what the Church’s enemies have always used in their attempts to destroy Her – and they invariably start by attacking the truth – ever since Day 1 this is how it has been ( ” He is a liar and a murderer from the beginning.” ) They’re experts in twisting words and in twisting their meaning. In this way, they dictate the terms of any discussion which would ensue. Subsequently – after they have slanted the playing field to their advantage , dialogue always plays out in their favour.

    Twenty years ago, “marriage” meant just that. But today, the homosexual lobby has not only convinced a vast number of people (by their incessant and admittedly tyrannical disinformation campaign) that it is “hurtful” or “hateful” to not include homosexuals in the meaning of marriage , they have actually succeeded in warping the language and intimidating people to the point of making them erroneously believe that “marriage” is somehow a “right”. How absurd has it become . . . when we formerly could simply speak of spouses giving themselves to each other, but now, are coerced into using excessively awkward terms – like “opposite-sex marriage” when we just want to say “marriage” ?

    Who told us we had to say it that way ? Well, it all begins with certain people insisting that we have to change our language. I sincerely hope someone will make some of our Cardinals an exceptionally strong pot of coffee at the synod before they begin discussing the Church changing Her language. The Church’s enemies (even the unwitting enemies) are just waiting for a chance to put a negative spin on the language we use. If the Church did change Her language to suit the whims of these people, we would have a Hell of a time trying to define and teach the truth. As a priest friend of mine once told me, ” The English language has been taken hostage by those who oppose of the Church : We have to take it back !”

    The truth says abortion is killing and that we who understand this are pro-life. Enemies of the truth say that abortion is not killing, it is simply a choice – they’re “pro-choice” and they use “anti-choice” to describe those of us against killing. They also object in a most aggressive way to the showing of a picture of an aborted fetus, particularly on a placard, labeling it as “offensive” (a synonym of “hurtful”) . . .Well to whom exactly? . . .Certainly it isn’t “offensive” to the aborted child when we tell the truth – when we describe what really happened to him or her.

    “Does the Church need to watch Her language ?” – No , and this definitvely so ! Take that suggestion and place it where it belongs – out on the manure heap with the rest of the male bovine droppings.

    In order to define for us what is sinful and what isn’t, what is good and what is intrinsically evil,the Church is obliged in Her thinking, to follow concepts, situations,and scenarios all the way to their logical conclusion. “Continuous adultery” for example, is a correct definition, a correct logical conclusion which is drawn from a practical analysis of the majority of divorced and remarried Catholics’ cases. If there is any merit to the claim of someone being offended in hearing it this way, then instead of changing the definition, we can simply change the way we tell them – using the same definition. Personally, I sometimes like to substitute myself in place of the person when giving an example – like this :

    If I marry in the Church. Then I “divorce” my wife , then marry another in a civil marriage ceremony. If we have four beautiful children and this umm second “wife” and I deeply love each other – passionately, and those four children love us and we love them tenderly . . . no matter how much selfless love and affection we have, no matter how upstanding and model citizens we may be in the eyes of society. . . None of that can change the fact that, according to the very words of Our Blessed Lord, each time I have slept with this second “wife” or sleep with her (having intercourse) I commit an act of adultery – Not only that, but (excluding any extraordinary circumstances) by extension, each of those 4 children whom we love so dearly were also conceived in an act of adultery.

    Should I suppose that Jesus will have a less “offensive” way of explaining that to me when I stand before Him as the just Judge ? Shall I prevent Him from speaking plainly – as He did on this same subject when He walked among us ?

    Our Blessed Lord told Saint Faustina , ” My Mercy is so great that neither man nor angel can ever fathom it – even if they were to contemplate it for all eternity.” But before we can experience God’s unfathomable mercy , it is first necessary for us to be able to acknowledge our sins and our culpability.

  11. wmeyer says:

    Fr. Hunwicke is on the mark, as ever. That said, I am certainly content not to have responsibility for the issues which the bishops must debate at the synod.

    The secular motivations, as usual, are for release from any constraints which might reduce personal pleasure and instant gratification. Secular hedonism is the rule they wish to ratify and follow.

    I pray that our bishops will listen to the Holy Spirit in the course of the synod.

  12. kpoterack says:

    Phil NL said: “A person, born and bred a protestant, leading a saintly life except for the one day when he placed chewing gum on the seat of his least favorite teacher at NoBrainsHere high school, married, divorced, married a fine woman and converted to the true Church, doesn’t have that luxury. He can walk into the confessional, but cannot walk out of it and present himself for communion. He has no immediate way to make his spiritual affairs in order . . . “There are valid issues to be discussed at the Synod, as it clearly is worrisome that the far more grevious sinner can avail himself of the Church’s sacaraments and be sure of the Lord’s forgiveness much more easily and quickly than the person who made the mistake of marrying after divorce perhaps – as in the example above might be – not even believing that marriage is insolluble when he entered his first one.”

    KP: Phil, you make some very good points, and if the Synod leads to better pastoral care for people in difficult situations as you describe, or better grounds for detecting null marriages, then I don’t think any of us would be as concerned as we are. There seem, though, to be a small, but significant number of prelates (e.g. Kasper) who have Christian marriage – and basically the whole moral order – in their cross hairs. I mean, once you say that one person having sexual relations with someone who is not his spouse is fine, it is pretty hard not to spread that logic to other situations.

    The Church cannot deny the Truth, if she indeed is the incarnational embodiment of Truth Himself.

    All of this talk about concrete situations can be sincere, it also can just be the camel’s nose under the tent flap. I pray that the former prevails.

  13. Grumpy Beggar says:

    acardnal says:
    11 October 2014 at 8:01 am

    As the late Msgr Wm. Smith would teach, “All social engineering is preceded by verbal engineering.”

    “It’s not abortion, it’s pro-choice.”

    My apologies acardnal . . . I couldn’t have been paying enough attention when I was originally reading through the comments . It might be because I read about 150 posts yesterday evening, or because I started my post on this thread around 6:30 am . I’ve just reread the comments more carefully, and what I should’ve done when posting was to initially refer/quote your post and then build on it – since you were the first to mention verbal engineering and to provide the example of engineering the term “abortion” into “pro-choice”.

    My bad.