UPDATE: Wherein the Bishop of Black Duck gives pastoral care to a pro-abortion ‘c’atholic politician

UPDATE: 27 May 2021

I’ve lately read that some 60 bishops are pressuring that the issue of Communion for pro-abortion politicians NOT be even be discussed at the USCCB meeting.   I don’t get it.   The Lord says that if there a problem with one of the brethren, after talking with him about it first, and if that doesn’t help take it to the Church.   But no bishops don’t want to talk about something that is really serious and a public scandal.  They don’t want to talk about upholding the law they took oaths to uphold.    What with that?   Talk about and then vote on it.

In any event, I saw this snippet with Bp. Paprocki, Bishop of Illinois’ state capital.  I thought it a good addition to my earlier post.

___ Originally Posted on: May 18, 2021

On 7 May 2021, the Prefect of the CDF, Card. Ladaria, sent a Letter to Archbp. Gomez, currently President of the USCCB.  The letter addresses the issue of the formation of a national policy about Communion for public figures who support and promote moral evils.

Ladaria’s letter is not all that it could be (as Fr. Murray pointed out).  It isn’t really all that much, as a matter of fact.  It repeats – and this is not bad – what has been said before.  That said, constant repetition without subsequent action demonstrates weakness or … worse.    Incessant reference to dialogue, when for decades with the same people dialogue has been entirely fruitless, is tantamount to Samuel Beckett’s oft quoted phrase:

All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

When it comes to bringing these public figures around by dialogue, the US bishops are getting better and better at failing.

The other day pro-abortion Nancy Pelosi told a reporter who asked about her Archbishop’s (Cordileone) letter concerning Communion and support of abortion:

“I think I can use my own judgment on that but I’m pleased with what the Vatican put out on that subject. Did you read that?”

Dialogue isn’t going to cut it with the likes of Pelosi and Biden.  Not by itself.

Archbp. Cordileone responded to Pelosi’s remark with a statement.  He repeated what Pelosi already knows, the number of the unborn who did not come to light because of abortion.  Just before the end of his statement he also repeated what Card. Ratzinger wrote in 2004 to US Bishops (which McCarrick lied about):

[Ratzinger] goes on to say in that letter that, if these dialogues

prove to be fruitless, then, out of respect for the Catholic belief of what it means to receive Holy Communion, the bishop must declare that the individual is not be admitted to Communion.

However, Cordileone concludes:

Speaker Pelosi’s positive reaction to Cardinal Ladaria’s letter, then, raises hope that progress can be made in this most serious matter.

With due respect to His Excellency, if Nancy Pelosi is pleased with what Ladaria wrote to Archbp. Gomez, that must give us pause.   If Fishwrap’s Madame Defarge is pleased with Ladaria’s letter, we should hope for a better letter in the near future.

We will agree that dialogue has to continue.   At the same time other means should be applied.  Maybe… maybe… Cordileone is establishing the groundwork.

Here’s is another way of approaching pro-abortion catholic pols beyond “sola sermocinatio“.

The esteemed Bishop of Black Duck, Most Rev. Jude Noble, would surely write the following to the notorious pro-abortion Mayor of his See’s city.

The Honorable
Nanette Harry
Mayor of Black Duck

Your Honor,

You recently made a statement reported by the press in which you said that you would “make up your own mind” about receiving Holy Communion even after having been instructed multiple times about supporting the evil of abortion.

Your recent statement has brought me to make up my mind.

Given your unswerving support of and promotion of abortion, and given your apparent unwillingness to change your position and make public reparation for the scandal you have caused, in my role as your bishop and in accordance with Can. 915 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law, I herewith admonish you, Mayor Harry, not to present yourself for Holy Communion within the Diocese of Black Duck.

I have also made a public statement about the same.

Moreover, I have issued a directive, also made public, to all the priests serving in the diocese that they are not to admit you to Holy Communion until after such a time as you make a public statement that you regret all your efforts to promote the grave evil of abortion and that you shall endeavor to make some kind of reparation for the damage that you have done.

As your bishop, I also admonish you not to receive Holy Communion anywhere outside this diocese.

I ask my brother bishops everywhere to respect my decision on this matter.

Because you, as Mayor of Black Duck, are a national figure, I invite all my brother bishops of this nation to help me in my pastoral concern on your behalf.   I ask them to defend the Church’s teaching, uphold the Canon Law, and correct among the faithful any false notions your history of support for abortion may have fostered.

I am available to speak with you in private about this matter, to explain in detail why I am doing this and what it means.  Do not hesitate to contact me if you would like counsel about how to make reparation for your past public action in support of such a great moral evil.   I will also continue to speak in public about this matter.

Mayor Harry, for years I have faithfully urged you, with hope encouraged, and in charity pled that you to alter your stance on procured abortion.  Dialogue alone is no longer sufficient in itself.  My duty before the Savior, before the flock entrusted to me by the Church, and before your own soul, requires both the above and what follows.

I will pray for you every day and take on a penance for your intention.  I have invited all the priests of the diocese to do the same, in their own way.

Assuring you of my good will and prayerful best wishes, I am your devoted shepherd in Christ,

+ Jude Noble
Bishop of Black Duck



About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in 1983 CIC can. 915, Canon Law, Emanations from Penumbras, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. eamonob says:

    If only we would get a real letter like that. Fr Z needs a red hat! ?

  2. Andrew says:

    Quod multam patientiam geris et putas Ecclesiae visceribus incubantes tua posse corrigi lenitate, multis Sanctis displicet: ne dum paucorum poenitentiam praestolaris, nutrias audaciam perditorum, et factio robustior fiat. (Hieronymus: ep. 63)

    (It displeases many of the Saints that you are very patient and that you hope to correct those who abide in the Church’s bowels with your excessive softness: they are worried that while you await the repentance of the few, you nourish the audacity of the wicked, and the faction grows stronger.)


  3. Joe says:

    God protect Father Z, Abp Cordeleone, and all faithful clergy.

  4. GHP says:

    Let us pray that Bp. Cordeleone has the heart of a lion!

    — Guy

  5. JustaSinner says:

    Father, could you do an article about Church Hierarchy. Who does what, whose power rules, etc. I know that the Pope is the Bishop of Rome and Vucar of Christ. But aren’t local Bishops given, usually, wide-ish leeway on their administration of the (Arch)Diocese? Is the Catholic Church rigid top down, or more decentralized? NEVER hear about that locally…and your insight would come from the source…Rome and the Vatican. (Only a bit of ego fluffing ;)

  6. I disagree that “dialogue” needs to continue. “Dialogue” is a word that ought to be expunged from everyone’s vocabulary, especially as a verb. You can’t “dialogue” with people with whom you share no common ground, because their values are diametrically opposed to yours and their words mean something different to them than what you mean. For example, to Christians, “peace” means order and justice. To the enemies of Christianity, “peace” means the absence of opposition. How can you have a “dialogue” with people like that and expect to accomplish anything? To our enemies, “dialogue” is just a technique for sapping our strength and our resolve. And it works every time it’s tried.

  7. ArthurH says:

    “eamonob” above beat me to my “if only….” and Joe’s “God protect… Abp Cordeleone” did the same to that thought. So, I’ll second each.

    Sometimes, sadly, a surname does not suit its bearer. The Abp has stalled-so before…. as here again, likely will yet again. Surely he means well… but it aint enough. At this point we need the rest of the lion, not just his heart.

  8. ChrisP says:

    Card Ladara 2021: “continue dialogue in mutual respect”

    Neville Chamberlain 1938: “after much dialogue, I have here peace in our time”

    Same approach that will end up with same result

  9. jaykay says:

    ChrisP: very apt comparison, and one that came to me also.

    Yet, poor Chamberlain, while he did realise the type of people he was dealing with, nevertheless was sincere in his belief that he had brought peace (or bought it, the price being the vital parts of unfortunate Czechoslovakia). And so were the millions who applauded Munich. I think a major difference is that the Church is in a very different position to Britain and France in 1938/39. They still had the strength of great powers at that stage, and it was still possible that things could have been different had they acted accordingly, whereas we are effectively already conquered in that abortion is fully in its demonic reign and has been these too many years. Its advocates and enablers basically don’t care what the Church says. In the case of those who still call themselves “Catholic” should a prohibition of Communion be imposed it doesn’t matter either – they know they’ll still get some poor fool to give it to them. Or glory in their “martyrdom” should that not be possible. Sadly, that last scenario seems all to unlikely.

  10. jdt2 says:

    Father, you are worth your weight in gold. Very sadly there is a statistically insignificant percentage of U.S bishops who would stake their popularity, position or comfortable status to write such a clear, concise, CATHOLIC letter to a soul entrusted to them by THE SHEPHERD on such a grave matter.

  11. James C says:

    And now Tim Kane is using the Vatican letter to attack bishops who want to do their jobs in the pages of the Fishwrap. The arrogance of these “Catholic” politicians has a strong odor of sulphur.


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  13. All I keep thinking is that ‘dialogue’ and ‘nuance’ are nothing more than weasel words that mean “keep talking to make it look like progress towards understanding is happening” while actually doing NOTHING.

    I keep thinking (foolishly) someday someone will “let their no mean no and their yes mean yes. Anything less is the tool of Satan.”

  14. The Cobbler says:

    The Church, and sensible people everywhere, need to adopt the attitude that “It’s not dialogue if you’re just going to ignore me,” if they wish to be polite and fair, or the attitude that “dialogue means we meet in the middle so I’ll simply pick a position extreme enough to get you to settle on the position I actually want,” if they don’t mind turning the enemy’s tactic on them.

  15. Gregg the Obscure says:

    Quite taken with the Bishop’s motto

  16. What is really odd here is that no actual instruction or document is being voted upon– it’s a vote to talk about whether to talk about it. It could wind up being nothing more than another in an endless series of bureaucratic maneuvers that never seem to go anywhere. An actual document could be torpedoed or watered down at any stage in that process, voted down at the next meeting, or sent back to committee. The sharp response makes an observer wonder of what those 60 bishops are afraid– maybe something might actually get done instead of kicking the can up the road even further? Maybe they are afraid that even one bishop might actually take action, so they are trying to intimidate all of them? Something is obviously brewing close to the surface, and I see the bubbles forming. I don’t think the Cupich/Gregory minority is going to keep the lid on that pot forever. Eventually, one or more bishops are going to assert their individual authority as bishops and never mind what any other bishops or cardinals have to say about it. That is the important point– each and every diocesan bishop has the authority (and arguably the responsibility and duty) to act even if the USCCB does nothing. Each and every diocesan bishop has the authority to govern his own territory, including the President of the United States when he is in that territory.

  17. MitisVis says:

    Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity
    St. Paul might ask if these men were not the direct lineage of the Apostles
    whom the Savior himself instructed “This is My Body”
    or did Our Lord die for sin that doesn’t really exist? What is there to talk about?

    This shameful public hypocrisy by the bishops whom can’t even stand for the very core belief of our faith is a far worse scandal. Why should I feel bad about moving a few zeros in the employees retirement fund to take my secretary to my hot spot when Nancy and Joe have been party to countless innocent deaths and they do it?
    Nobody else stays in their pew, think I’ll go get me a wafer as well.

    One could hope for an early appearance of St. Nick this year with the right, and a few good lefts. God Bless our good bishops, but give them strength Lord and
    help me with my blood pressure

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