How does one participate in the sin of another person? We sin through another person’s actions by …
- praise or flattery
- the defense of the ill done
1. Counsel: If you tell or advise another person to do something sinful, so that they do it, you have sinned by participation in that person’s sin.
2. Command: If you have authority over another, and you forced that person to commit something which is sinful, while that person might have mitigated guilt, you don’t.
3. Consent: If you are asked if you think a sin is good thing to do, and have some power over the situation, and if you permit or approve or yield to the commission of the sin, you’ve sinned.
4. Provocation: You badger or drive or dare a person to do something such that he does it.
5. Praise of flattery: Pretty clear. This is another way of prompting a person.
6. Concealment: A person commits a sin and then you help that person conceal the evidence or the action.
7. Partaking: Another person is the principal person involved, but you are right there helping the actual sinful deed. For example, a person helping a doctor commit an abortion, a politician helping an aggressive governor or president or speaker of the house drive through recognition of contrary-to-nature “marriage” by providing a vote.
8. Silence: There is an old adage that “silent implies consent”. If a person with great authority or moral authority is in a position to stop a sin from happening, and yet stays silent and doesn’t get involved, then that may constitute participation in the sin committed. This is trickier to figure out, but it isn’t rocket science. There may be attendant mitigating circumstances, such as the probable invasion of Vatican City, the capture of the Roman Pontiff and destruction of the Church in many places. In the meanwhile one could work quietly. One cannot, however, do nothing. Another point must be considered: the rules governing fraternal correction. It may not be your place to correct another person, depending on the circumstances.
9. Defense: Pretty clear. You defend or justify or give an apology in favor of the sin committed. This is not the same as what a defense lawyer does in the case of a person who is guilty.
It is good to review this list once in a while with a view to your own examination of conscience.
It is also helpful to know this list when looking at the catholic media coverage of this critical upcoming election.
I direct the readership’s attention to something that Jesuit-run Amerika magazine has posted:
Joe Biden’s Catholic politics are complicated—but deeply American
But despite the thrill of meeting John Paul, there was one thing Biden refused to do: kiss the pope’s ring, a customary greeting when meeting an esteemed cleric. It was later revealed that it was Biden’s mother who insisted he refrain, telling her son, “Don’t you kiss his ring.”
His refusal has become a hallmark of how Biden manages his faith, a throwback to a brand of mid-20th-century political Catholicism that eschews obsessive obedience to the Holy See on matters of policy.
It’s a form of faith that experts describe as profoundly Catholic in ways that resonate with millions of American believers: It offers solace in moments of anxiety or grief, can be rocked by long periods of spiritual wrestling and is more likely to be influenced by the quiet counsel of women in habits or one’s own conscience than the edicts of men in miters.
“His separating of the secular sphere and the sacred sphere, not in his personal life but in his approach to governing, is straight out of that Kennedy lineage,” Natalia Imperatori, a professor at Manhattan College who studies Catholic ecclesiology, said of Biden.
But in the years that followed, the line between public policy and private beliefs seemed to fluctuate. Biden voted against the anti-abortion amendment when it once again appeared before the Judiciary Committee in 1983, but in 1984, he backed an amendment praising the so-called Mexico City policy, which banned the use of federal money for foreign groups that provide abortion counseling or referrals. By 1987, advocates for abortion rights were already describing his voting record on the issue as “erratic.”
(Editor’s note: Vice President Biden’s position on public funding for abortion has also shifted over time. Though once a longtime supporter of the Hyde Amendment, which restricts the use of taxpayer funds for abortion, he reversed course in June 2019 after intense criticism in the campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. See “Joe Biden Says He No Longer Supports the Hyde Amendment,” June 7, 2019.)
Do you see what Amerika has done here? He’s sooooo deeeeeply Catholic. Like JFK! But you have to really sophisticated to get it how Catholic he is.
Fr. Z says: