27 January 2012

It's a Good Question

Fr. Edward Richard asks it-- in the wake of the good news that the U.S. Bishops are taking a strong stance against the federal mandate to violate the natural moral law, Catholic teaching, and our own consciences to provide the means to kill babies, will they now police their own flock of Catholic legislators who support this federal mandate?

When will the excommunication and interdict decrees be issued against the "Catholic" politicians, public officials, interest group members, and public policy advocates who defy the teaching of the Church, the natural moral law, and the admonitions of their bishops and the Pope?  When will Holy Communion be denied by order of the local ordinaries of these people?  

(To be clear, Fr. Richard limits his post to the denial of Holy Communion and "canonical penalties" generally.  The use of the language "excommunication and interdict" is my own.)  

When will the shepherds who stand for the faith with their actions be able to be counted on more than two hands?

Because the soft-sell of friendly persuasion and example has been a complete bust.

The USCCB did not take on Obamacare as such, but merely said the right things about abortion and contraception mandates.  Ignoring the obvious Trojan Horse, the bureaucratic arm of the bishops issued mild platitudes, while encouraging the drive to place "universal health care" in the hands of a federal government that could decide who lives and who dies.  Anyone with eyes could see this coming, yet there was never even a debate about whether universal health care was a good thing or not.

We now reap the whirlwind.  Fine.  The rearguard action must be fought, of course.  But can we finally declare that the pro-death "Catholics" aren't Catholic anymore?  Are we still afraid to speak the truth?  Why?

Lives are at stake--those of the most innocent. But more importantly, souls are at stake-- not the least are those of the pro-death politicians themselves.  Excommunication, interdict, denial of Communion are medicinal remedies.  Yes, they are strong medicine, but medicine indeed. 

From the Catholic Morality blog:


OK. So Here's My Question... 

Will the Bishops' Conference deal with those of its own house before suing the U.S. Government? 

In the USCCB Media Blog of Tuesday, January, 24, 2012, concerning the recent Obama Administration ruling that Catholic institutions have to cover sterilizations and contraceptives (including abortion-causing agents), we read: 

This egregious violation of religious freedom marks the first time in our history that the federal government is forcing religious people and groups to ante up for services that violate their consciences. Some claim this is all about access to contraceptives—but everyone knows how and where to get them, and get them cheaply. And the mandate also forces coverage of sterilization and abortion-causing drugs. This is about forcing the church to pay for all these things through insurance coverage, to sponsor these “benefits” that it considers immoral. This is, in other words, about freedom of religion, which is a foundation stone of U.S. democracy.

The government allows other religions to live out their beliefs. The Amish and Christian Scientists have a conscientious objection to health insurance, and so the law exempts them from buying it. The government acknowledges the right of these religious groups to live out their religious convictions in U.S. society. Why are beliefs of Catholics and others dismissed? 

The course seems clear. If the administration persists, this is going to court. So, my question, from a priest, moral theologian, interested party, cheerleader for the bishops, and adherent to the authority of the magisterium, (the list goes on) is will the conference of bishops, or individual bishops, now correct individual Catholic legislators and administration officials who support these abridgments of the Church's freedom by pursuing the moral and canonical measures available? As we know, the bishops' conference has chosen not to speak in favor of adherence to the Church's long-standing, well-established, and incontrovertible moral tradition regarding the refusal of admission of public sinners to Holy Communion in the case of formal cooperation in abortion (referring to those politicians who promote and vote for the so-called right to abortion)--and it should be clear that the administration of Holy Communion to such public sinners entails cooperation in sacrilege and the sin of scandal on the part of the minister of Holy Communion.

Will the bishops' conference find in these offenses, the offenses against conscience and religious freedom committed by Kathleen Sebelius and others involved, serious enough reason to say that these actions are scandalous enough public sin to require that the ministers of Holy Communion not cooperate in the scandal and ensuing sacrileges involved in the reception of Holy Communion by these public sinners? If the bishops conference is willing to take the US Government to civil court to fight this on a legal basis, to have these offenses declared unconstitutional by government standards, has the time not come, as well, to say that the individuals involved in this should have to publicly repent from their moral and canonical offenses before being admitted to Holy Communion?


Liz said...

Archbishop Naumann made a foray into this arena in 2008, by directing then-Governor Sebelius to refrain from receiving communion.

But what about even closer to home - religious, priests, and yes bishops who cause scandal by their words and actions (or silence and inaction) on the life issues? The Church is weakened by her inability to deal with dissenters.

Hootiecootie said...

My very wise grandfather had a saying that sums this up perfectly, "So goes the church, so goes the world."

Anonymous said...

I love the painting. Is it of Frederick II Hohenstaufen?


Anonymous said...

Okay, like most Catholic leadership, I too am for universal health care. A nation is viewed not by how it helps the richest among it, but the poor and the disenfranchised.

I totally disagree with your line about this "... while encouraging the drive to place "universal health care" in the hands of a federal government that could decide who lives and who dies." The fact is, the group right now who IS making life and death decisions every day is the insurance industry. And surprise of surprise, every day, if given the choice, do you think they would choose to be Christian and help ill and injured people, or make a swift profit? Are you naive enough to think that an insurance company would act with Christian compassion, or kick someone off their enrollment plans if they are diagnosed with cancer? They used to kick women off their enrollment plans as soon as they got pregnant, until the federal government stepped in to say that is immoral, and made it illegal. In that case, which one was acting more like a Christian?

If we truly are a "Christian" nation, we will offer health care to the rich AND the poor. IF we continue to be a capitalist nation, we will only let the rich have insurance, and $&%#! the poor. But the fact is, we cannot be both.

And yes, I am still totally upset by this infuriating provision - it needs to be gone immediately.

JPII fan

thetimman said...

JJR, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_II_of_France

Dan said...

If I might respectfully reply to "anonymous", I would point out that, despite all the ethical and moral problems with Mr Obama's idea of "universal health care" we need to understand that it is a law that will compel people to purchase health insurance out of their own funds whether they can afford it or not.

The insurance companies are delighted with the law as it will result in a profit windfall for them. The idea, as some had expressed, that they were opposed to this is ridiculous. The government has no right to compel you to buy something you cannot afford. That is the long and short of it. And to add insult to injury, the government wants us to pay to violate our Catholic faith. Can anything more diabolical be imagined?

The health care issue is not going to be resolved by a federal government, especially one as despotic and tyrannical as our own.

Here is a case where we may have to start taking another look at the old "Distributist" ideas. I'm sure there are plenty of websites that discuss these forgotten but increasingly interesting ideas.

Anonymous said...

Timman - did my comment from Friday come through? If not, I am resending. Or did you decide not to post it for some reason?

Of course Catholics should rally the troops and support the bishops against Obama’s latest outrage. But in many ways the bishops, who have spent the last 40 years ignoring or in some cases purposefully undermining Humanae Vitae, have only themselves to blame for the current state of affairs. Anyway, I bet most of the 98% of contracepting Catholics don’t care about what Obama is doing, or in fact support him. It’s great that the bishops have finally decided to lead, but I’m afraid they’re going to turn around and see that they have no troops behind them.


thetimman said...


No, I did not receive your comment earlier. Thanks for resending.

just wondering said...

I recommend the tax exempt status of the Catholic Church,all churches and any other tax exempt entities including Planned Parenthood, be done away with. Following that I suggest a class action suit against the Federal Government for crimes against 53million of their unborn citizens & for all damages incurred since 1973. That should unbridle the Churchs' tongue and restore order in the area of healthcare for all.
just wondering

StGuyFawkes said...

Catholic STL,

Ross Douthat of the New York Times hits this issue solidly in today's op-ed page.

As government gets bigger community gets swallowed and liberty atrophies. No better example than the erosion of conscience rights under President Obama.


Anonymous said...


Medicaid is for people who have low incomes an need insurance. If they do not qualify for medicaid, then there are other low cost Christian self insurance programs where people pool their money together. It is not smart to let our government tell us that we all must purchase insurance. Most people's insurance has gone up expedentially because of the new forced guidlines for them. This makes more people poor, who might have been lower middle class.

working person