Catholics & the 2004 Presidential Election - Collected Readings & Resources


Monday, May 17, 2004

Why Is the Scandal Permitted? 

Posted by Earl at 3:02 PM

As posted by my fellow pundit Barbara Kralis on the pages of Fidelis...
In times of great crisis there are two types of men: those who are overwhelmed by the crisis and those who rise up to resist the trend of events and so change the course of history.1
A Catholic bishop's ministry is a crucial part of God's saving work in human history. The bishop must be forthright in proclaiming and defending the unchanging truths of the Church, "in and out of season," at a time marked by "both a widespread relativism and a tendency toward facile pragmatism."2

When a bishop permits another to persist in his manifest, obstinate sin against the Eucharistic Sacrament of Christ, is not the bishop cooperating in the scandal as well?3

The munus episcopale or office of the faithful bishop has a most crucial obligation in guarding the truth that has been entrusted to them by the Holy Spirit to bring all souls to God, no matter at what cost, even if it means the persecution and death of the Bishop.4

The Ecclesia docens (teaching Church) must not fail in this most fundamental obligation to save the souls of the Ecclesia discens (learning Church).

"Full adherence to the Catholic faith does not diminish, but actually exalts human freedom."5

The first and essential step in returning a manifest sinner to the healing love of God is for the bishop to teach the sinner that he is causing grave scandal, even if this means challenging socially acceptable opinions and prevailing political popularities.

Remember the sorrowful indignation in Jesus' harshest words showing the seriousness of the sin of scandal (which is defined as something said, done or omitted which leads another person to commit sin):
It would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world for temptations to sin. (Mt.18: 6-7)
What terrible things come upon the world through the sins of scandal? But the gravity of scandal increased if a bishop causes it.6

So serious is the moral obligation to avoid scandal that we are admonished not only not to do wrong but also not to appear to do wrong. When a person acts, he or she must always consider the appearance of the act to be done.7

The church's apostolicity is clear regarding the bishop's indisputable pastoral obligation for the care of souls, particularly weak souls, and most notably in protecting sacrilege of the Eucharist:
Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord...for any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself.8
The Council of Trent, teaches upon Paul's words:
No one who has a mortal sin on his conscience shall dare to receive the Holy Eucharist before making a sacramental confession. This holy Council declares that this custom is to be kept forever.9
The Church has always believed and taught that the Eucharist is really, truly, substantially the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ. This explains why everyone who partakes of the Eucharist must be free from mortal sin.

Despite these clear teachings of the Catholic Church, many U.S. bishops give license and assent to manifest, obstinate, persistent sinners, especially pro-abortion politicians, who give scandal by unlawful reception of the Eucharist.

In fact, Canon Law n. 915 places the burden of the scandal of sacrilegious reception on the minister, or "ne admittantur," who unlawfully administer the sacrament, and who, in some canonists' opinions, could be punished according to canon 1389 § 2.

It is false and illusory for a bishop to promote other human rights as being equal to the most basic of all human rights - the right to life.10 It is a grave error to preach against the first laws of nature that protect and promote human life.11

Those who manifestly reject the Church's teachings and admonitions regarding the sanctity of life of the unborn cause the greatest scandal of our era. There is no greater evil than abortion.

Unless each diocesan bishop bears public witness to Church Law and promulgates "canonical notification," as Archbishop Raymond Burke and Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz have done, several serious consequences will continue to happen.

Each bishop's complacency in the Eucharistic scandal:
  • Affirms, even encourages, manifest sinners in their scandalous actions.

  • Contributes confusion, malaise, and embarrassment for Catholics everywhere. World media are reporting, with amusement, each Bishop's reaction.

  • Distorts the Church's catholicity to potential converts from other denominations who may subsequently question the authority of the Pope and his teaching Magisterium.

  • Discourages young men in their own dioceses from answering the call of God to the ordained priesthood. Who wants to serve under such confusion and blatant Episcopal disregard for Church law?

  • Causes great rifts and divisions within dioceses, parishes and families. The faithful Catholics who remain loyal to the magisterial teachings regarding this scandal are persecuted as Papists, "judgmental," and "unenlightened" by the scandalmongers.
Does the U.S. hierarchy need a filibustering Bishop's Task Force on the Doctrinal Note on the Participation of Catholics in Political Life to decide how to admonish the manifest, obstinate, persistent sinners and stop the scandal? Bishops Burke and Bruskewitz didn't need one. Were they wrong?

No, Bishops Burke and Bruskewitz acted in faithful adherence to already clearly defined laws, specifically canon 915, that require all bishops to "govern" and "correct" to protect the Eucharist from sacrilege and the lay faithful from scandal.

Ergo, why is the scandal permitted?


[For endnotes, see original post on Fidelis.]


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Sen. John Kerry stands with Kate Michelman (right) President of NARAL Pro-Choice America.

Since 1995, Michelman's group has given Kerry a 100% rating for his voting record to defend abortion.

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Ad Limina Apostolorum

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Fidelis
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Organizations

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News Resources

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Kerry Communion Watch @ Beliefnet.com

The Candidates on Abortion: Where do they stand?

Documentation

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Periodicals

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Related Documents & Articles

Worthiness To Recieve Communion: General Principles
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger

Doctrinal Note on some questions regarding The Participation of Catholics in Political Life
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

Evangelium Vitae
Pope John Paul II

Worthy to Receive the Lamb: Catholics in Political Life and the Reception of Holy Communion, from Archbishop Donoghue (Atlanta, GA), Bishop Baker (Charleston, SC) and Bishop Jugis (Charlotte, NC).
August 4, 2004

Catholics in Political Life U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. June 7, 2004.

Catholic Politicians and Bishops. By Most Rev. Raymond L. Burke, Archbishop of St. Louis. America June 21-28, 2004.

A Time For Honesty, Pastoral Statement by The Most Reverend John J. Myers, Archbishop of Newark. May 5, 2004.

Why Communion Could Be Denied to Anti-Life Legislators. Interview with Father Thomas Williams, dean of the School of Theology of the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical Athenaeum.

Why Don't Catholic Politicians Practice What the Catholic Church Preaches?, by Judie Brown. Washington Dispatch April 19, 2004.

How to tell a Duck from a Fox: Thinking with the Church as we look toward November, by Archbishop Chaput. Denver Catholic Register April 14, 2004.

On the Dignity of Human Life and Civic Responsibility, a Pastoral Letter by La Crosse Bishop Raymond L. Burke.

Blood On Their Hands: Exposing Pro-abortion Catholic Politicians, by Mark Stricherz. Crisis May 2003.

The Failure of Catholic Political Leadership, by Robert P. George & William E. Saunders. Crisis 18, No. 4 (April 2000).

Denying Holy Communion: A Case History, by Bishop Emeritus Rene Henry Gracida. [PDF Format].

Ten questions regarding the denial of the Eucharist, by Barbara Kralis.

Recommmended Reading

John Kerry, Abortion and the Catholic Church

Irreconcilable Differences", by Matthew Mehan. NRO Sept. 16, 2004.

John Courtney Murray and the 'Liberal Catholic' Justification of Abortion Investigative report by Christopher Blosser. August 30, 2004.

"Please answer the question, Senator Kerry", The Mighty Barrister. August 2, 2004.

You wouldn't even ask. Fr. Pavone (Priests for Life). July 2004.

Kerry isn't making abortion stand clear, by Raymond J. Keating. Newsday July 27, 2004.

Senator Kerry May Be Human . . . But is He a Person?, Catholic Kerry Watch. July 23, 2004.

Kerry's Catholic Problem, by Brent Bozell. July 7, 2004.

The Body Politic and the Body of Christ: Candidates, Communion and the Catholic Church. Debate btw/ Thomas J. Reese, S.J. and George Weigel. June 23, 2004.

The Kerry challenge, by George Weigel. May 5, 2004.

Rites and Wrongs: Why John Kerry should not take communion, by Philip F. Lawler. Wall Street Journal April 30, 2004.

John Kerry's Catholic Problem", by Cal Thomas. April 26, 2004.

Kerry Distorting Catholic Doctrine. Newsmax.com interviews George Weigel. April 16, 2004.

"Personally Opposed, But…" Five Pro-Abortion Dodges, by Todd M. Aglialoro. Crisis April 1, 2004.

On Embryonic Stem-Cell Research

Reagan vs. Reagan and The Stem-Cell Cover-Up, Catholic Kerry Watch, August 14, 2004.

Senator Kerry dismisses religious convictions as "ideology"  Catholic Kerry Watch. August 9, 2004.

Ron Reagan & Functionalism, Revisited, Catholic Kerry Watch. July 29, 2004.

Out of Touch, by Michael Fumento. Refuting Kerry's claims on the use of embryonic stem cells. Citizen Magazine August 2004.

Stem Cell Defection, by Ramesh Ponnuru. National Review August 16, 2004.

Stem Cell Research: Fact Sheets, Letters to Congress and Articles from the USCCB.

On Voting, "Proportionality" and Cardinal Ratzinger's Memorandum

What Ratzinger Said, by James Akin. Sept. 9, 2004.

Bishops Refute Flawed Theology (of Andrew Greeley) Barbara Kralis. August 22, 2004.

Thoughts on Proportionality, Catholic Kerry Watch. July 12, 2004.




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