In a letter dated March 30, 2021 Archbishop Gomez, the President of the Conference of U.S. Catholic Bishops informed the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that the American bishops will be taking up the issue of Catholic politicians who support abortion, euthanasia, or other moral evils. You can include in the category of other moral evils gender ideology, sodomy, and forced-compliance with sex-change surgeries to name a few. Cardinal Ladaria, Prefect of the Congregation, in his reply counseled dialogue and consensus among the American bishops in considering these issues and the worthiness to receive Communion.
A doctrinal point: an episcopal-conference is a church-structure set up by church-law. It is not of divine origin. What is of divine origin is the individual bishop responsible for Catholics in his own diocese. The conference should not be seen as a political body analogous to the Congress, which overrules individual bishops by majority rule. It’s a church-structure which seeks the common good of Catholics in a particular country and allows some binding decisions according to church law if approved by the Holy See.
Dialogue should not, cannot, does not, must not mean endless talking in order to avoid making a decision. It should also not mean refusing to recognize when the person/s are not open to dialogue and are obstinate in their rejection of Church teaching, especially on matters inherently evil like abortion or euthanasia. Disturbing in Cardinal Ladaria’s letter was its use of pro-abortion language when it referred to “Catholic politicians who adopt a pro-choice position.” They are adopting a pro-abortion position not a choice. Please God, given the crisis of faith and morals in the Church, this was an oversight and not deliberate on the part of Cardinal Ladaria.
There are a number of teachings at stake in the matter of worthiness to receive Holy Communion:
“Whoever eats the bread and drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many among you are ill and infirm, and a considerable number are dying.” (I Cor. 11:27-30) This was omitted from our Lectionary in the celebration of the ordinary form of the Mass and this must be rectified.
Canon 915: Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion. (emphasis added)
To receive Holy Communion in a state of grave/mortal sin is a mortal sin of sacrilege.
Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC): #1867 The catechetical tradition also recalls that there are "sins that cry to heaven": the blood of Abel, The sin of the Sodomites, The cry of the people oppressed in Egypt, The cry of the foreigner, the widow, and the orphan, injustice to the wage earner. (Note: the blood of Abel means deliberately shedding innocent blood)
CCC1868 Sin is a personal act. Moreover, we have a responsibility for the sins committed by others when we cooperate in them: - by participating directly and voluntarily in them; - by ordering, advising, praising, or approving them; - by not disclosing or not hindering them when we have an obligation to do so;- by protecting evil-doers.
CCC1869 Thus sin makes men accomplices of one another and causes concupiscence, violence, and injustice to reign among them. Sins give rise to social situations and institutions that are contrary to the divine goodness. "Structures of sin" are the expression and effect of personal sins. They lead their victims to do evil in their turn. In an analogous sense, they constitute a "social sin.”
Formal cooperation: This refers to agreement in the will regarding an evil act. We may never assist another person in an external sinful act, and intend its sinfulness. Such formal cooperation is always sinful, a sin against charity (scandal), as well as of the same kind as the act in which one cooperates. For example, to willingly drive someone to get an abortion, to pay for it, encourage it (if it determines their will to do it), defend the doing of it etc. is gravely sinful, both against charity and against life.
Material cooperation: Assisting another person in an external sinful act by an action which is not sinful, and without approving of the other's sinful act in one’s will is material cooperation. Such cooperation may be immediate (necessary to the sinful act) or mediate (secondary to the sinful act). Proximate mediate cooperation is always sinful, for example, providing anesthesia for an abortion or euthanasia.
Remote mediate material cooperation is sinful, except under certain conditions. Cooperation in the sinful act of another by material support which is remote, that is, not intimately connected to the evil act is sinful. However, under certain conditions it can be tolerated: 1.The act by which cooperation is rendered is not itself sinful; but it has two effects; the good one is chosen, the bad one is tolerated. 2. There is a proportionately serious reason to justify tolerating the evil of another. 3. The danger of scandal is avoided, by protest, explanation, or some other means -The human conscience cannot overrule God! That would be the rejection of God and a sin against the First Commandment. A sincerely erroneous conscience is binding but one cannot claim a sincerely erroneous conscience, when the person knows God’s commandments and teachings.
The Mario-Cuomo-Sophistry: to uphold defending innocent human life and other verities of the natural order such as there are males and females is not “imposing” Catholic teaching but respecting the natural order referenced in The Declaration of Independence and binding on the whole human race.
Politicians who mock God: Catholic politicians who invoke God, the Church, and Catholic practice, while voting for and enabling intrinsically evil programs, actions and sentiments are blaspheming and mocking God and endangering their salvation.
The Anti-Establishment Clause of the Constitution does not mean as some Catholic politicians claim that their devoutness and religion applies only to the four walls of a church and has no place in the public square. They purport to live so-called double lives: supposedly devout Catholic within the four-walls of a church while outside the church living the life of a purveyor, promoter of, and cooperator with, serious moral evil, the worst of which is the genocidal shedding of the blood of countless innocent pre-born children.
The denial of Communion to Catholic politicians who continually promote, enable, and boast about supporting evil practices and legislation confronts them with the seriousness of their departure from the Catholic Faith and the danger to their salvation arising from their choices and actions. This applies doubly to clergy, who enable these politicians, and refuse to correct them, a serious failure in charity. These clerics will have to answer to God for this.
Blessed Clemens von Galen’s motto Nec Laudibus Nec Timore should be a motto for all clergy. They should neither be intimidated by the fear of others in doing what’s right, nor seek the praise of others in making their decisions.
Please read “President Biden and Public Scandal” by Fr. Gerald Murray J.C.D. (https://www.thecatholicthing.org/2021/05/17/president-biden-and-public-scandal). The same sentiments could also be applied to Nancy Pelosi Speaker of the House and to other pro-aborts in both parties.BACK TO LIST