Monday, November 12, 2007

No help from the Left Coast

Bishops to consider excluding pro-abortion politicians from communion, but California’s prelates unlikely to support such a ban

A four-day meeting of U.S. bishops begins today at the posh Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel. On the bishops’ agenda, among other items, is a revision of their statement on “faithful citizenship,” a guide for Catholics on political issues....

Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis is probably the strongest advocate of denying communion to pro-abortion politicians as a disciplinary measure. In a recent interview published by the Archdiocese of St. Louis’ Office of Communications, Burke minced no words when asked if the majority of bishops supported this discipline: “It is not a question of what number of bishops agree or disagree with the discipline. It is the discipline of the universal Church, which every bishop is required to uphold.”

Those favoring denial of communion to Catholic politicians who defy Church teaching point to Canon 915 of the Code of Canon, and particularly to a clause that says those “who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to communion.” In 2004, Pope Benedict XVI (then Cardinal Ratzinger) sent a memorandum to U.S. bishops specifically about the issue of denying communion to politicians. The memo said defiant politicians should be given “due process” of prior warning, but insisted that denial of communion was the next step...
The documented statements from California's bishops are more than troubling. Apparently too few seem to be praying for their bishops and priests.

More here.

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