Pro-Abortion Catholic Politicians, the Eucharist, and the Bishops

06-27-2021Weekly Reflection

The U.S. bishops’ Conference voted 168-55 to draft a formal statement on receiving the Eucharist. Involved in this is Canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law: It forbids the administration of Holy Communion to those upon whom the penalty of excommunication or interdict has been imposed or declared or who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin. Catholic politicians have a serious obligation to protect human life and not cooperate either materially or formally with the taking of innocent human life in the womb. To materially or formally cooperate with abortion is grave sin.

The material cooperation involved is the assistance necessary for abortions to take place. Formal cooperation means a willing participant. In 2004 the Holy See instructed the U.S. Bishops that a Catholic politician engages in formal cooperation with the sin of abortion when he/she consistently campaigns and votes for permissive abortion laws. This certainly applies to President Biden and a whole plethora of Catholic politicians. The issue is not political as some, including some bishops, claim and it’s not just about Biden. It is about scandal, sacrilegious Communions, and the salvation/conversion of the Catholics promoting abortion and the taking of innocent human lives they are complicit in. The protection of innocent human life is not just Catholic doctrine but part of the natural law that innocent human life is to be protected and not killed, which is taught in the 5th Commandment. Fr. Gennaro Cipolla at Rorate Caeli puts it this way:

The battle for the soul of the Church is between those who embrace the Tradition of the Catholic Church and those who relativize that Tradition in the name of empathy and progress. We must remember what Tradition means in terms of the Catholic Church. Tradition consists of the authority of the truth of Scripture and the authority of the teaching of the Church through its history guided by the Holy Spirit. At the very heart of Catholic Tradition is the person of Jesus Christ as true God and true man. Tradition and truth cannot be separated. He notes: The battle about “Eucharistic coherence” is not about President Biden. It is not about “weaponizing the Eucharist” as Archbishop (sic) McElroy has claimed. (He should ponder St. Paul’s words in I Corinthians 11:27ff.)

Note: Bishop McElroy is a bishop not an archbishop. St. Paul says: "Therefore whoever eats the Bread or drinks the Cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner shall be guilty of the Body and the Blood of the Lord."

Fr. Cipolla further adds:

Neither is it about opinions about how the Church should function in a militantly secular society. The battle is about whether the Catholic Church will remain faithful to the Tradition, at whose heart is the person of Jesus Christ as the Way, the Truth and the Life, or whether it will become one more “denomination”, and, like much of American Protestantism, will dissolve into “mere religion” that is a reflection of the society in which it functions. To the point, there is the Catholic Church and there is a counter-church operating like a cancer in the Church. The counter-church in fact is the metastasis of the modernist heresy, whose proponents ostensibly remain in the Church in order to remake it and conform it to the secular world. In the current situation in our country it’s the attempt to conform the Church to the canons of political-correctness, especially in the area of sexuality, marriage, gender, and abortion. In Germany it has brought large sectors of the Church there to de facto schism and heresy as it seeks to conform the Catholic Church to the secular world. It includes bishops, clergy, and laity much like the Arian heresy which captured almost all of the Church in the 4th century except a remnant championed by saints like St. Athanasius. (END)

The Infidelity of the Future

St. John Henry Newman preached a sermon with this title at the opening of St. Bernard’s Seminary in 1873 to priests and future priests. Some excerpts:

...(The) general intelligence of every class of society, general but shallow, is the means of circulating all through the population all the misrepresentations which the enemies of the Church make of her faith and her teaching. Most falsehoods have some truth in them; at least those falsehoods which are perversions of the truth are the most successful. Again, when there is no falsehood, yet you know how strange truth may appear to minds unfamiliar with it. You know that the true religion must be full of mysteries—and therefore to Catholicism, if to any profession,…applies the proverb that a fool may ask a hundred questions which a wise man cannot answer. It is scarcely possible so to answer inquiries or objections on a great number of points of our faith or practice, as to be intelligible or persuasive to them. And hence the popular antipathy to Catholicism seems, and will seem more and more, to be based upon reason, or common sense, so that first the charge will seem to all classes of men true that the Church stifles the reason of man, and next that, since it is impossible for educated men, such as her priests, to believe what is so opposite to reason, they must be hypocrites, professing what in their hearts they reject….

…There are, after all, real difficulties in Revealed Religion. There are questions, in answer to which we can only say, "I do not know." There are arguments which cannot be met satisfactorily, from the nature of the case—because our minds, which can easily enough understand the objections, are not in their present state able to receive the true answer. Nay, human language perhaps has not words to express it in. Or again, perhaps the right answer is possible, and is set down in your books of theology, and you know it. But things look very different in the abstract and the concrete.

You come into the world, and fall in with the living objector and inquirer, and your answer you find scattered to the winds. The objection comes to you now with the force of a living expositor of it, recommended by the earnestness and sincerity with which he holds it, with his simple conviction of its strength and accompanied by all the collateral or antecedent probabilities, which he heaps around it. You are not prepared for his objection being part of a system of thought, each part of which bears one way and supports the other parts. And he will appeal to any number of men, friends or others, who agree with him, and they each will appeal to him and all the rest to the effect that the Catholic view and arguments simply cannot be supported. Perhaps the little effect you produce by the arguments which you have been taught is such that you are quite disheartened and despond.

I am speaking of evils, which in their intensity and breadth are peculiar to these times. But I have not yet spoken of the root of all these falsehoods—the root as it ever has been, but hidden; but in this age exposed to view and unblushingly avowed—I mean, that spirit of infidelity itself which I began by referring to as the great evil of our times, though of course when I spoke of the practical force of the objections which we constantly hear and shall hear made to Christianity, … You will say that their theories have been in the world and are no new thing. No. Individuals have put them forth, but they have not been current and popular ideas. Christianity has never yet had experience of a world simply irreligious…. But we are now coming to a time when the world does not acknowledge our first principles.

Of course I do not deny that, as in the revolted kingdom of Israel, there will be a remnant. The history of Elias is here a great consolation for us, for he was told from heaven that even in that time of idolatrous apostasy, there were seven thousand men who had not bowed their knees to Baal. Much more it may be expected now, when our Lord has come and the Gospel been preached to the whole world, that there will be a remnant who belong to the soul of the Church, though their eyes are not opened to acknowledge her who is their true Mother. But I speak first of the educated world, scientific, literary, political, professional, artistic—and next of the mass of town population, …My Brethren, you are coming into a world, if present appearances do not deceive, such as priests never came into before, that is, so far forth as you do go into it, so far as you go beyond your flocks, and so far as those flocks may be in great danger as under the influence of the prevailing epidemic.

Of course every Catholic should have an intelligent appreciation of his religion, as St. Peter says, but still controversy is not the instrument by which the world is to be resisted and overcome. And this we shall see if we study that epistle, which comes with an authority of its own, as being put by the Holy Spirit into the mouth of him who was the chief of the Apostles. What he addresses to all Christians is especially suitable for priests. Indeed he wrote it at a time when the duties of one and the other, as against the heathen world, were the same. In the first place he reminds them of what they really were as Christians, and surely we should take these words as belonging especially to us ecclesiastics. "You are a chosen generation, a kingly priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people ..." (1 Pet. ii. 9). In this ecclesiastical spirit, I will but mention a spirit of seriousness or recollection. We must gain the habit of feeling that we are in God's presence, that He sees what we are doing; and a liking that He does so, a love of knowing it, a delight in the reflection, "Thou, God, seest me." A priest who feels this deeply will never misbehave himself in mixed society. It will keep him from over-familiarity with any of his people; it will keep him from too many words, from imprudent or unwise speaking; it will teach him to rule his thoughts. It will be a principle of detachment between him and even his own people; for he who is accustomed to lean on the Unseen God, will never be able really to attach himself to any of His creatures. And thus an elevation of mind will be created, which is the true weapon which he must use against the infidelity of the world…Now this I consider to be the true weapon by which the infidelity of the world is to be met. And next, most important in the same warfare, and here too you will see how it is connected with a Seminary, is a sound, accurate, complete knowledge of Catholic theology. This, though it is not controversial, is the best weapon (after a good life) in controversy. Any child, well instructed in the catechism, is, without intending it, a real missioner. And why? Because the world is full of doubtings and uncertainty, and of inconsistent doctrine—a clear consistent idea of revealed truth, on the contrary, cannot be found outside of the Catholic Church…. (END)

Faith is the theological virtue by which we believe in God and believe all that he has said and revealed to us, and that Holy Church proposes for our belief, because He is the truth itself. By faith "man freely commits his entire self to God. " For this reason the believer seeks to know and do God's will. Incredulity is the neglect of revealed truth or the willful refusal to assent to it. "

Heresy is the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith; apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith; schism is the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him." Divine and catholic faith means believing what God has revealed, preserved in and taught by His Catholic Church.