Archbishop Wuerl: Pro-abort politicians not my problem

wuerl.jpgWashington, D.C.'s archbishop Donald Wuerl has responded to complaints he allowed Catholic pro-abort politicians receive communion during the Pope's April 17 Mass at Washington Nationals stadium. Catholic Online reported May 6 that Wuerl wrote in an April 30 Catholic Standard column:

I have always respected the role of the local church and the ministry of the individual bishop as shepherd of the church entrusted to his care....

A decision regarding the refusal of holy Communion to an individual is one that should be made only after clear efforts to persuade and convince the person that their actions are wrong and bear moral consequences....

Presumably this is done in the home diocese where the bishops and priests, the pastors of souls, engage the members of their flock in this type of discussion.

On one hand I think Wuerl expressed a valid concern of not wanting to usurp the authority of a politician's own priest or diocese. He is in a unique position as head of the Catholic Church in D.C., where so many out-of-town infamous Catholics work.

On the other hand, this could read like a cop out....

If a Catholic politician spends a significant amount of time between 2 parishes, doesn't the parish where pro-abortion actions are committed bear some responsibility, even if not the home parish?

I experienced a similar situation. The lead abortionist at Christ Hospital when I worked there was a Catholic named Dr. Steven Ambrose, head of the high risk pregnancy group.

Although Christ was located within the confines of the Archdiocese of Chicago, so Ambrose did his dirty work there, he lived in Westmont, IL, and attended chruch at Holy Trinity, located within the Joliet Diocese.

So for a time neither accepted responsibility for Ambrose. Ultimately the Chicago Archdiocese took up the matter and held a meeting with Ambrose (although it did no good - I know, I continued to work with him). His own priest, meanwhile, refused to stop offering Ambrose communion. But I give Cardinal George credit for trying.

But I digress. Is Wuerl following Catholic protocol of which I'm unaware?

[HT: LifeNews.com; photo courtesy of friendsoflourdesusa.com]


Comments:

TR - What? Nevermind, whatever...

I think it's a cop out, he's above the priest in the home diocese, directly or indirectly. He should lead by example.

"All it takes for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing."

Posted by: Kristen at May 7, 2008 11:40 AM


It's really hard to say because it appears that there are two different sets of clergy involved. I know that in Ontario,CAtholic NDP Member of Parliament for Timmins-James Bay, Charles Angus was denied Holy Communion for supporting the federal same-sex legislation.
The pastor told the newspapers that it was the position of the Catholic Church that those who reject Church teaching in grave matters, such as abortion and homosexuality, may not receive Holy Communion. Angus is free to attend Mass, but may not receive the Eucharist. Angus' parish priest met with him and told him to reconsider his position. He was warned that he would be refused Communion if he publicly went against Church teaching.
I think that the American Catholic clergy would do well to meet with the rogue Catholics, warn them and then if there is no change and public recanting, their pastors should be instructed to withhold Communion.
These politicians are, of course, free to join another church which is more inline with their beliefs.

Posted by: Patricia at May 7, 2008 12:08 PM


I know how popular it is here to assume that you know everyone else's thoughts, actions, intent, and motivations for everything, but it's nice to see a person with actual authority, Archbishop Wuerl, who isn't willing to do the same thing.

Posted by: Hieronymous at May 7, 2008 12:14 PM


Has Archbishop Wuerhl contacted/consulted the local bishops of the cavalier Catholics? If he wants to be hands off, well, at least go by a different route. But to do nothing???

And if there's been anough criticism, then perhaps he and other bishops should take note and see to it that these politicians have a little respect for Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament...a-la Fabian Bruskewitz. Go him!

Posted by: carder at May 7, 2008 1:28 PM


Not everyone who is catholic thinks abortion is the most important issue facing america

Posted by: TexasRed at May 7, 2008 12:52 PM

That's fine. But, if a person is a practicing Catholic then they need to follow the teachings of their Church. Unfortunately, being Catholic does not mean checking your faith at the door when you are elected, go to work, or drive on the freeway. It's a way of living based on the teachings of Jesus Christ who founded the one, true, catholic and apostolic church.
If a politician supports abortion then he/she will have to choose between their faith or their political career. They cannot vote proabort and then show up at the communion rail. They must choose - and that's what the bishops need to tell them.
The politician is free to leave the church at any time. Catholics do not force people to remain in the faith.

Posted by: Patricia at May 7, 2008 1:30 PM


TR,

Not everyone who is catholic thinks abortion is the most important issue facing america

If you belong to a book club and everyone agrees to read Anne of Green Gables, and you insist that no matter what everyone else is reading, YOU are gonna read Black Beauty...do you think you should be allowed in the ensuing discussions about Anne?

Or how about when you play Monopoly. Everyone has agreed not to collect when they land on Free Parking, but every time YOU land on it, you take $500.00 dollars from the bank. How long ya think you'll be allowed to play.

Or how bout driving 40 miles over the speed limit and when a cop stops you, you tell him to mind his own business?

This is the church. No one is forced to belong. If you accept the terms, and join, then you dang well better be prepared to follow the rules.

No one is forcing anyone to be Catholic...

What is the matter with you!?!?!!??!

Posted by: mk at May 7, 2008 1:33 PM


Not everyone who is catholic thinks abortion is the most important issue facing america

No one said it was...How relevant the issue is in your life has nothing to do with how you view it.

What does one thing have to do with other???

Posted by: mk at May 7, 2008 1:36 PM


Heir,

I don't understand what you were trying to say.

Posted by: mk at May 7, 2008 1:37 PM


Oh, this is laughable.

Here's what Pelosi had to say:

"Think of that word Communion, that which brings us all together as Christians, as Catholics," Pelosi said, adding that denying a Catholic the Eucharist "would be something that would shatter that union."

Shatter that union? That's certainly not the fault of the Church when one makes the conscious decision to deliberately reject a key teaching: sanctity of life.

It's not so much a punishment as it is a wakeup call.

Pelosi and Company would do well to read and re-read the catechism. And not just the parts that they like.

The church hasn't kicked anyone out; they kick themselves out. And the Church would want nothing more than to have them reconciled back in the fold.

Posted by: carder at May 7, 2008 1:38 PM


Yay! 2-4-6-8, separation of Church and State!

I don't understand why anyone would even want to mix the two. Politics is too corrupt for religion and religion is too wishy-washy and touchy for politics.

Catholicism may have its rules. It may forbid people from doing whatever. Don't care. But trying to control people's feelings and opinions? A little 1984, in my opinion.

Posted by: Leah at May 7, 2008 1:39 PM


MK and Patricia,

What do ya'll think of Archbishop Wuerl's actions? I guess I second Jill's question "Is Wuerl following Catholic protocol of which I'm unaware?". I thought Archbishop Wuerl was hardcore like Bishop Bruskewitz or Archbishop Burke... this seems to not be the case unless I'm unaware of something. God love ya'll.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at May 7, 2008 1:41 PM


Leah *sigh*,

Trying to control?

I respectfully disagree. It's an invitation.

Posted by: carder at May 7, 2008 1:43 PM


It may forbid people from doing whatever. Don't care. But trying to control people's feelings and opinions? A little 1984, in my opinion.

I don't believe that Catholic Church thinks they can control people's feelings or opinions, Leah. But if you decide to be Catholic, there are certain rules you should be aware of and should be following in terms of how you life your life. Nobody forces anyone to be Catholic, if you don't want to follow the rules of the Catholic Church, don't be Catholic.

Posted by: Elizabeth at May 7, 2008 1:45 PM


I don't understand, carder. What do you mean?

Posted by: Leah at May 7, 2008 1:46 PM


To Archbishop Wuerl:

You are the Shephard for your diocese, responsible for thousands of Souls. It is your duty to keep those sheep close to the Good Shephard - Jesus. Saying that pro abortion CATHOLICS that receive The Eucharist is not your concern reminds me of those who passed by the man who was robbed by thieves in the Parable of the Good Samaritan. You are like the ones that passed by the injured man, if you keep this attitude up.

Posted by: LizFromNebraska at May 7, 2008 1:46 PM


"how you life your life.."

Good grief...OBVIOUSLY I meant how you live your life.

It isn't even nighttime and I'm having issues.

Posted by: Elizabeth at May 7, 2008 1:47 PM


Leah,

See Elizabeth's 1:45 post. She beat me to it.

Posted by: carder at May 7, 2008 1:49 PM


This is cop out Jill, no doubt. Poor leadership and dishonesty on display here.

Posted by: jasper at May 7, 2008 1:50 PM


MK (& other Catholics),

Why did you chose to be Catholic?

Posted by: Edyt at May 7, 2008 1:50 PM


Leah,

If you got invited to someones house for a party and the theme was star wars, but you hated star wars, do you think you should be able to go in and start taking the decorations down and putting up your own?

Being Catholic is an invitation in the sense that all are welcome. But it's our party, our house. You didn't have to go to that star wars party, you could have stayed home. Or had your own party, but do you honestly think it would be all right to go to the Star Wars party and mock it?

Posted by: mk at May 7, 2008 2:03 PM


Edyt,

Actually, that answer I gave you last week (or maybe longer ago?) when you asked about why Christianity as opposed to another religion was true is where I would start. If you remember that, I was confused about your question and answered a different question, which coincidentally, happens to be the start of this question!

But to pick up from what I talked about there, I believe that Jesus is who he said he is i.e the Son of God who IS God himself. Hence, I am morally obliged to follow him and belong to whatever religion, philosophy, way of life etc. it turns out he wants me to. From my study (and I really don't want to get into the details of this right now in this public forum, but if you wish, I would LOVE to discuss it with you in private if you're interested) I have found that it is the Catholic Church that Jesus has established here on earth to teach in his name, and he wishes everyone to be a member of it. Why did he do it that way? I haven't a clue! But I believe that's what he set up for the salvation of the human race, so I must, MUST be a member of it if I wish to do what my creator wishes of me.

That is very much in a nutshell, without any real justification or actual arguments. That's just the basic philosophy of "why Catholic." Is that kinda what you were looking for?

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at May 7, 2008 2:03 PM


I understand what you're all saying re: Catholicism. I'm still iffy on it, though, and I still can't see it as anything other than a dictation of opinion. But again, this is the view of an outsider. My mother and all her (six) siblings left the Catholic Church.

MK: Don't be silly. I would DEMAND that they change the theme to "films noirs"--much cooler. :)

Posted by: Leah at May 7, 2008 2:12 PM


Edyt,

I've told my story on here before...I was raised Catholic, but left the church, got heavily immersed in witchcraft and paganism, used A LOT of drugs, drank, pretty much lived the lifestyle...

I have, however, always been the type of person that demanded the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

At one point, I realized that I was living a lie and was extremely unhappy. I began to read about lots of different stuff. I've always LOVED the supernatural. Things started clicking, and little by little I began to see that the Catholic Church was the only one that made complete sense. I began a relationship, first with Our Lady, and then eventually introduced myself to the big guy.

Miracles, big and small, began happening in my life, and before I knew it, I was hooked. It was between me and God for a long time. I had no friends, no one to share it with, except one girl from New Jersey. My kids and husband thought I was nuts! But that was 16 years ago, and I've never looked back.

The church is so deep and so rich, flaws and all, that I feel like I could keep growing and learning and growing for the rest of eternity and still not grasp a drop of it.

It's hard to explain what happens to you once you say yes, but something sure does, and it's amazing.

The whole world makes sense to me now. I have a peace that I've never known since I was a small child. I probably drive Him crazy, cuz I babble to Him incessantly. But He's just my best bud, and she is my best friend. I still don't know what they see in me, but I sure do know what I see in them. I can't even imagine myself without the church. I'd be so lost, and so lonely.

We talk a lot about all of the rules, but really it comes down to me and Him. When I'm with Him in the adoration chapel, just Him and me....wow! And when I receive Him at mass? Nine times out of ten I wind up crying just from the pure joy of it.

Posted by: mk at May 7, 2008 2:12 PM


Leah,

How is it dictatorship if that is the religion you CHOOSE?

Posted by: Elizabeth at May 7, 2008 2:15 PM


"And when I receive Him at mass? Nine times out of ten I wind up crying just from the pure joy of it."

That's a great grace, MK.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at May 7, 2008 2:16 PM


Seriously, MK..that was an awesome explanation!

Posted by: Elizabeth at May 7, 2008 2:18 PM


Leah,

MK: Don't be silly. I would DEMAND that they change the theme to "films noirs"--much cooler. :)

I'd probably go to your party then! lol

But the church doesn't really tell us what to think...There are just some issues that are hard to discern, and on these the church makes things clear. Of course the whole thing is based on the premise that, of your own free will, you will trust them on these matters.

There is actually mucho freedom in the church. It is because of these few rules and guidelines that we are truly free to enjoy everything that life has to offer without fear of hurting ourselves. She is wise, and we respect her wisdom.

It's not like a cult where you're all hypnotized into believing the moon is made of cheese.

Receiving the Eucharist isn't really about opinion. Either you believe that it is truly Jesus or you don't. If you don't, then PLEASE don't receive. if you do, then PLEASE receive worthily.

We're talking about God in the flesh here. Not just bread and grape juice. This isn't an act where we all pat each other on the back and proclaim we are christians. This is GOD. Right there. Physically. If you believed that, would you take Him, knowing that you thought His "rules" were silly?

Posted by: mk at May 7, 2008 2:19 PM


Throw the bum out! Appeal to the pope! Anyone who doesn't agree with how you extremists think church rules should be interpreted and enforced has no business running a diocese! How dare he, or any church official, not take a hard line against these baby-killing politicians who, goshdarnit, just keep getting elected and re-elected, despite the best efforts of conservatives to defeat them!

Meanwhile, US military casualties in Iraq hit 4071 last Friday, and former Bush advisor John Bolton is openly advocating bombing Iran. But these issues don't seem to be important to "pro-life" Catholics.

Posted by: Ray at May 7, 2008 2:20 PM


Edyt,


Thanks for the question.

I was born and raised Catholic. There was a time where I rejected it all as free Sunday therapy. But thank God I was brought to my senses.

I'll use a comparison that a famous catholic, Mother Angelica, used and tweak it to how I want to get the point across:

It's like comparing dinner time. For some, dinner means scraps and bones and barely any sustenance. Alot of junk but no vitality. I would compare that to the moral relativism so rampant these days. And the pick-and-choose catholics.

Dinner could also be just the meat-and-potatoes fare. Basic truths that are found everywhere regardless of religion, race, background. It gets you by, but much remains to be desired.


Now let's head on over to the Roman Catholic dinner. No, more like banquet! Food. And not just any food; we're talking appetizers, all sorts of soups, meats, breads, gravies, vegetables, fruits, a plethora of beverages, from all over the world and all so lavishly served in the finest of dinnerware. And I haven't even gotten to dessert!

I do realize I'm presenting this at the most physical level, but for some of us (myself included) that's where I need to start to even begin to explain.

In a nutshell, it's a fullness of truth that I have yet to come across from any other religion and ideology, the depths of which leave me feeling very tiny.

Like the Kid said, this could be another offline conversation altogether.

Posted by: carder at May 7, 2008 2:20 PM


That's a great grace, MK.

It's also kind of embarrassing!

Posted by: mk at May 7, 2008 2:20 PM


It's not like a cult where you're all hypnotized into believing the moon is made of cheese.

What?!! You mean, it's NOT?!!

Aww, man....

Posted by: Elizabeth at May 7, 2008 2:26 PM


Ray,

4071 casualties is nothing. 4000 unborn babies die every DAY for "convenience" and in the name of "choice".

That's 4000 future tax payers. That's 4000 future doctors, teachers, lwyers, senators, representatives, astronauts, etc, all snuffed out before given a chance, a Chance at LIFE.

Posted by: LizFromNebraska at May 7, 2008 2:26 PM


LizFromNebraska,

4071 casualties is nothing.


Seriously...I would rethink THAT statement or change your wording on it..because it most certainly ISN'T nothing!

Posted by: Elizabeth at May 7, 2008 2:32 PM


MK: Once again, your ignorance astounds me. Everyone knows the moon is made of cheese. To say otherwise is an insult to me an insult to my family and an insult to the Great Mouse, who, each month, eats the cheese bit by bit and then blesses us with a new moon.

:)

I could start my own cult!

I like the way you describe your Church, MK. I can empathize with that feeling as being the way I feel when I attend a service at my church.

I stand by my opinion that religion is too beautiful to mix with dirty politics.

This month, the moon is made of chèvre.

Posted by: Leah at May 7, 2008 2:34 PM


Liz, be fair.

That's 4,000 future murderers, homosexuals, doctors, teachers, lawyers, drug addicts, Hitler-wannabes, astronauts, homeless people, tax payers, tax evaders, couch potatoes, smokers, nurses, journalists, liberals, etc. all snuffed out before given a chance at LIFE!

Posted by: Edyt at May 7, 2008 2:37 PM


Re: Catholic discussion

I suppose what I was looking for (and I could have said this but I didn't) was why Catholicism and not some other sect?

I really don't understand why there are a ton of different branches of Christianity, except for the fact that people want to be religious and have a certain branch for their specific beliefs, and to me it seems... eh... it's like shopping, you know? Should belief be something you can just shop around for?

Posted by: Edyt at May 7, 2008 2:40 PM


Edyt and Liz,

You're both right, but don't all of those lives deserve the chance and hope and the opportunity to become whatever they become.

Hitler didn't start out as Hitler. I'm sure he was a very cute little baby, mustache and all.

The point is, we don't know who will be what until they are, and everyone, even Hitler deserves the "chance" to become the Martin Luther King.


Leah,

You're killin' me...gigglefest goin' on here!

Posted by: mk at May 7, 2008 2:42 PM


I've never quite understood that myself, either, Edyt. Some of the differences seem so silly to me. My Presbyterian friend once tried to explain it like this: "Well, Baptists believe that you need to be completely submerged in water to be baptized, but we believe that the water only needs to touch your head," or whatever.

So... start your own branch? It all seems so trivial!

Look at the Muslims too. The Sunni and Shia split hundreds and hundreds of years ago resulting from a dispute over the Prophet Mohammad's successor. And now it breeds such hatred! WHY???

Posted by: Leah at May 7, 2008 2:45 PM


Ah, yes yes yes. That is where I don't really want to go right now. I don't know if you know this, but a month or so ago, we had an over 3500 message post where we debated Catholicism vs. Protestantism, and I don't know about others, but I'm still a little worn out from that. However, that does NOT mean that I wouldn't like to tell you about it in a 1 on 1 forum. I'm on facebook (Nicholas Scoville) or you can ask one of the moderators for me email if you wish. I would love to discuss it with you, but it's totally up to you.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at May 7, 2008 2:45 PM


Leah, my friend, the offer stands for you too in you're interested :)

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at May 7, 2008 2:46 PM


MK: ♥

Posted by: Leah at May 7, 2008 2:46 PM


Edyt,

I think that's why I said the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. At the risk of insulting my fellow Christians of the protestant sect, to me, the Catholic church is the one that Christ instituted and following anything else would be settling for less than the "whole" truth.

It's the ONLY one that has the Eucharist. It's the only one that can be traced back to Christ/God himself. It's a continuation of the Jewish Faith, so it's really 6000 years old, not only 2000.

I have to pick the kids up from school, but I'll be back in about 20 minutes.

Posted by: mk at May 7, 2008 2:47 PM


"Should belief be something you can just shop around for? "

Folks already do that. Belief is one thing, Truth is another.

The question, perhaps, could be put: What is it about the belief that the person is looking for? Are they looking to come across a rock-bottom sale? The best bargain as in no compromises? Are they looking for something tht fits just so, like our friends the cafeteria catholics we've been criticizing?

Or are they looking for the Pearl of Great Price, willing to risk anything and everything so long as it's Truth?

Your openness leads me to believe you have stepped foot on that path.

Posted by: carder at May 7, 2008 2:47 PM


Bobby, sure, I'd love to explore your thoughts on the matter more.

However, right now I really need to get back to work and stop procrastinating. My deadline is 5 so I need to get going!

Take care everyone.

Posted by: Edyt at May 7, 2008 2:48 PM


Bobby: Sounds like it could be interesting. I'm not interested in debate because I really don't care one way or the other, but I'd be interested in understanding the differences better.

But... yeah. I'm supposed to be making dinner. So, later, all!

I think I am going to start a cult centered around Italian food. Any takers?

Posted by: Leah at May 7, 2008 2:51 PM


OK, good journey Edyt.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at May 7, 2008 2:52 PM


Me too, Bobby. I could use a little more learnin'.

Posted by: carder at May 7, 2008 2:52 PM


Carder,

Haha, I've already gone off the path, so to say, but I'm not interested so much in particular religious beliefs as the people who choose them.

I had a conversation with my mom a few weeks ago. She was part of a home church which has sorta broken up, and she's rediscovering what she believes. It was a bit shocking to hear her say she didn't think everything in the Bible was correct.

So since then I've been asking people about their beliefs and why they believe them. I'm not really soul-searching, just taking a walk around the park and looking at all the flowers. :)

Posted by: Edyt at May 7, 2008 2:53 PM


"I'm not interested in debate because I really don't care one way or the other, but I'd be interested in understanding the differences better."

Yeah, no, I didn't think either you or Edyt intended this to be debating at all. Ask me questions, I'll give you the best answers I can, that's that.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at May 7, 2008 2:54 PM


"Or are they looking for the Pearl of Great Price"

Who said anything about the LDS, carder? :)

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at May 7, 2008 2:55 PM


"Me too, Bobby. I could use a little more learnin'."

You have me email, ehh?

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at May 7, 2008 2:56 PM


"You have me email"

What the heck, I'm a pirate now? Sheesh!

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at May 7, 2008 2:57 PM


There were a lot more casualties in the Civil War, the American Revolution and in World War I & II.

There have been over 40 million abortions since 1973.


And to answer the question about why I am Catholic: God CHOSE Me.

Posted by: LizFromNebraska at May 7, 2008 2:58 PM


"Who said anything about the LDS, carder? :)"

Mercy! You're right, Kid.

Edyt,
Ok, I gotcha. Walks in the park are good. :0)

Posted by: carder at May 7, 2008 3:06 PM


God forgive me... this morning I committed a mass genocide ... hundreds of ants, all slaughtered, simply for being in the kitchen.

:( I'm a bad person.

Posted by: Edyt at May 7, 2008 3:06 PM


Everyone,

We could all agree to just make this a "Catholic" conversation, no debate, just instruction (Protestants can feel free to start their own?). I'm not trying to be devisive, just trying to make sure that everyone that wants to can be in on it without turning it into an argument.

It sounds like the questions are about Catholicism specifically and this post IS about the Catholic church....

Does that sound okay? Otherwise we won't all be able to participate.

I'm not up for a whole debate thingy either, but I'd love, love, love to be part of a Catholic discussion...

If it starts, for any reason to get divisive, we can just agree now, that we'll quit?

Posted by: mk at May 7, 2008 3:14 PM


Bobby,

"You have me email"
*
What the heck, I'm a pirate now? Sheesh!

Arrrrrrgh...good, now you can take on TR in the Monkey Island insult fest!

Posted by: mk at May 7, 2008 3:15 PM


Edyt,

I think that was justifiable homicide. Self defense. They were trespassing!!!!

Posted by: mk at May 7, 2008 3:16 PM


"Monkey Island insult fest!"

Why wasn't I informed of said fest earlier?

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at May 7, 2008 3:22 PM


I've been to Monkey Island!!! Its called the Rock of Gibraltar! It's probably the coolest thing I've ever seen, you should ALL go. =)


http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=30259755&l=d45a5&id=195101317


Also - being on topic, I'd have to agree with most of the pro lifers here on this one. If theres a big part of the Catholic Church that is inconsistent with your beliefs, it seems silly to me that you'd still go to services.

Especially when you can just become a Unitarian. You might be wrong. You might be right. But if you go to a UU congregation, you can still BE a Catholic, just not affiliated with THE Church.

Posted by: Amanda at May 7, 2008 3:32 PM


"If theres a big part of the Catholic Church that is inconsistent with your beliefs, it seems silly to me that you'd still go to services."

I appreciate that, Amanda :)

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at May 7, 2008 3:36 PM


LOL Bobby,

I posted on it a couple of days ago...

Here:

Fearsome Pirate Insults
Every enemy I've met, I've annihilated!
With your breath, I'm sure they all suffocated.

You're as repulsive as a monkey in a negligee.
I look THAT much like your fiancee?

Would you like to be buried or cremated?
With you around, I'd prefer to be fumigated.


Killing you would be justifiable homicide.
Then killing you must be justifiable fungicide.


Throughout the Caribbean my great deeds are celebrated!
Too bad they're all fabricated.

When your father first saw you, he must've been mortified.
At least mine can be identified.

You can't match my witty repartee.
I could if you would use some breath spray.

You're the ugliest monster ever created.
If you don't count all the ones you've dated.

Coming face to face with me must leave you petrified.
Is that your face? I thought it was your backside!


Posted by: mk at May 7, 2008 3:42 PM


MK -

Those are great and all, but nothing will ever beat

"you wart hog faced baffoon"

or

"you miserable vomitus mass"

Princess Bride, for the EPIC win. =)

Posted by: Amanda at May 7, 2008 3:45 PM


I hate to bring up ANYTHING that would wreck the mood here, but a couple of days ago there was talk of "picking on TR" (I realize that ended up not being what was meant, but the discussion went in that direction anyway).

Look at how this thread has gone so far...friendly, intelligent, people disagreeing like grown ups...now go to the UWSP thread...

Day and Night. I choose day.

Posted by: mk at May 7, 2008 3:46 PM


Amanda,

How about Monty Pythons "silly little rat faced git?"

Say no more, say no more. Wink and a nod. wink and a nod.

Posted by: mk at May 7, 2008 3:48 PM


"Look at how this thread has gone so far...friendly, intelligent, people disagreeing like grown ups...now go to the UWSP thread..."

LOL, MK. I have been checking back and forth on that thread all day. I too, appreciate what you're saying...

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at May 7, 2008 3:48 PM


Amanda,

I agree tho, the Princess Bride is one of my top all time ten fav movies.

Posted by: mk at May 7, 2008 3:49 PM


Hehe..you guys are cracking me up today! Or it could be the Xanax..who know's.

Edyt,

Everytime my daughter sees an ant she steps on it really hard and goes "Boom!"

Poor ants.

Posted by: Elizabeth at May 7, 2008 3:51 PM


Anybody want a peanut?

LOVE Princess Bride!!!

Posted by: Leah at May 7, 2008 3:53 PM


Never mess with a Sicilian when DEATH is on the line!!

AHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHA

HA....................


*THUD*

Posted by: Amanda at May 7, 2008 4:00 PM


Mawwige.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at May 7, 2008 4:03 PM


The building where I'm living now (my aunt and uncle's apt) used to be a factory and there's this big door that is pulled open with a weight when you unlock it. When we were younger, my siblings and I dubbed this door the "Fezzik Machine" because if you stood under the weight while the door opened it would be much like having Fezzik pound on your head.

How can anyone forget: "My name is Inigo Montoya... you killed my father... prepare to die."

Posted by: Leah at May 7, 2008 4:08 PM


Anybody want a peanut?

Stop that rhyming now. I mean it!

Posted by: mk at May 7, 2008 4:25 PM


Mawwige.

Is what bwings us togeveh today. Wuv, twoo wuv...

Aha. Shows you what you know. He's not dead. He's "mostly" dead.

LIAR!!!!!

Good night. Sleep Tight. Most likely kill you in the morning.

"I'm going to kill myself"
"That's nice dear"

R.O.U.S.

I do not think it means what you think it means.

INCONCEIVABLE!

Posted by: mk at May 7, 2008 4:28 PM


4071 casualties is nothing.

Thank you for confirming my impression of the priorities of so-called "pro-lifers," LizfromNebraska. I don't suppose you would care to repeat that statement at a local meeting of Blue Star Mothers, would you? There is a chapter that meets monthly in Nebraska City.

Incidentally, what would you say to the mothers of the estimated 400,000 to 800,000 Iraqi casualties of this conflagration that we started?

Posted by: Ray at May 7, 2008 4:36 PM



I do not like to criticize Bishops, because I have a tremendous amount of respect for most of them. However Archbishop Wuerl needs to show more leadership on this issue. He did almost nothing last year when Georgetown Law School (A Catholic Law School in his diocese) changed its policies and granted eligibility for grants to students doing summer internships for groups that support legal abortion.

Posted by: The_Cardinal_Rules at May 7, 2008 4:41 PM


MK (& other Catholics),

Why did you chose to be Catholic?

Posted by: Edyt at May 7, 2008 1:50 PM

Edyt:
If you are still on I became Catholic because I was born into the faith. However, I guess in my early 20's I decided to really learn about my faith. I also had the opportunity when I worked as a field geologist to go to churches of various denominations. I sort of had to go because the field boss was an anarchist and had a "thing" for me. He wouldn't let me go to church at first with the rest of the crew on Sunday but I finally convinced him to let me go. He knew I was Catholic and he was heavily into voodoo. I figured if I could get to any church that would be a blessing! Anyway, as I experienced the various churches, I realized that the CAtholic Church was really the true faith. It had the answers I was looking for. I've never stopped learning about my faith and a big part of that has been to read JP II's theology books. He was truly a brilliant man and I believe will someday be a Doctor of the Church in the area of sexuality!

Posted by: Patricia at May 7, 2008 4:41 PM


"He [JP2] was truly a brilliant man and I believe will someday be a Doctor of the Church in the area of sexuality!"

I think you're right about this, Patricia.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at May 7, 2008 4:44 PM


Ray,

I think Liz's point is that compared to 45 million, 4000 pales. All of the deaths are tragic. But soldiers volunteered for their jobs and knew the risks. And they weren't killed by their mothers.

One does not take away from the other. All senseless killing is a tragedy. Using soldiers killed in battle to justify abortion is much worse than Liz responding to that ploy...

Posted by: mk at May 7, 2008 4:44 PM


I hate to bring up ANYTHING that would wreck the mood here, but a couple of days ago there was talk of "picking on TR" (I realize that ended up not being what was meant, but the discussion went in that direction anyway).

Look at how this thread has gone so far...friendly, intelligent, people disagreeing like grown ups...now go to the UWSP thread...

Day and Night. I choose day.
Posted by: mk at May 7, 2008 3:46 PM

You are welcome mk, I have been keeping TR "ocupied" on the PP Mother's day blogline :))

Posted by: truthseeker at May 7, 2008 4:49 PM


If you are still on I became Catholic because I was born into the faith.

I'd like to point out to Patricia and the other Catholics here who were born into the church that by your own logic, you were actually conceived into it, not just born.

Or, as Monty Python put it:
I'm a Roman Catholic,
And have been since before I was born,
And the one thing they say about Catholics is:
They'll take you as soon as you're warm.

You don't have to be a six-footer.
You don't have to have a great brain.
You don't have to have any clothes on.
You're a Catholic the moment Dad... (I'll let you take it from there)

Posted by: Ray at May 7, 2008 4:51 PM


UWSP thread...

This thread is totally disgusting. I've left it. for good.

Bobby I think I found you on Facebook! Sweet. I'm on facebook too. But i'd never publish my name on this board - I'm afraid TR might track me down and KILL me.

I think it will take the Catholic Church a full century of exploring JP's theology. He was awesome. Have you ever listened to Christopher West's CD set on TOTB, Bobby?

Posted by: Patricia at May 7, 2008 4:51 PM


Truthseeker,

You're my hero! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Posted by: mk at May 7, 2008 4:56 PM


"I have been keeping TR "ocupied" on the PP Mother's day blogline :))

Posted by: truthseeker at May 7, 2008 4:49 PM

truthseeker - and at considerable cost to yourself.
You are a brute for punishment!

Ray - yes I've heard it before!!

And I see alot of others from here on Facebook even little Gianna.... God love her!!

Posted by: Patricia at May 7, 2008 4:56 PM


Are you gonna friend me?

I have his CD from the Mary Foundation "Marriage and the Eucharist", his book "Good News about Sex and Marriage", and I watched some of his TOTB episodes when they were on EWTN a few months ago. I don't know if that's the same as his CD set, though. He's fantastic. He's the one who convinced me of the Catholic understanding of contraception and such.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at May 7, 2008 4:58 PM


Patricia..I'm on facebook..be my friend!! :)

Posted by: Elizabeth at May 7, 2008 4:59 PM


MK: you are what's referred to as a revert! And you are not alone. Most of my friends are reverts! I am one of the few Catholics I know who have never left the faith, although in all honesty I've certainly come very close at times! All I can say, it there but for the grace of God go I!!
I always seemed to know that if I stopped going to Mass that would be it for me. You post was very touching. God bless you!

Posted by: Patricia at May 7, 2008 5:02 PM


Using soldiers killed in battle to justify abortion...

mk, I am not using soldiers killed in battle to justify abortion, but rather trying to point out that while raising a ruckus about an Archbishop not creating a scene with politicians who haven't actually killed anybody or performed any abortions themselves, you all seem resigned and apathetic that we have created a hell on earth in Iraq that has resulted in hundreds of thousands of horrific casualties, all with no end in sight. Where is the indignation? Where is the condemnation?

I think you are all sadly misguided on how to make the world a better place.

Posted by: Ray at May 7, 2008 5:03 PM


Bobby do you REALLY have Cardinal Arinze as a friend?? lol that is totally awesome!!
I have to think about the friend thingy. I have a very tight circle of friends.

Posted by: Patricia at May 7, 2008 5:05 PM


"And I see alot of others from here on Facebook even little Gianna.... God love her!!"

There's about 18 people from Jill's blog on there that I know of.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at May 7, 2008 5:06 PM


"Bobby do you REALLY have Cardinal Arinze as a friend?? lol that is totally awesome!!"

LOL, no, he's not the REAL Cardinal Arinze, unfortunately... it's just a sort of facebook fan page devoted to him

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at May 7, 2008 5:08 PM


Ray, I think there are lots of ways to make the world a better place.
Mother Theresa's famous words that abortion is the greatest destroyer of peace in the world are very true. If even a child is not safe in it's mother's womb, who among us is safe?
If we cannot even love the most innocent and totally helpless and completely dependent human person, the unborn baby, how can we love those who have so much more?

Posted by: Patricia at May 7, 2008 5:08 PM


Ray,

We all pick our battles. I'm not out their on a Midgets are People Too! board. I have chosen to join the pro life war. Some go into the marines, some go into the army, some go into the navy...but they are all fighting the battle!

I'm sure there are plenty of "The War Sucks and the Catholic Church Doesn't Care" blogs out there. By the way, the Church has spoken out quite loudly on the issue of the Iraq war. She has stated that it is, in her view, an unjust war. So, I'm unclear as to your point.

Posted by: mk at May 7, 2008 5:09 PM


well, I'm a fan of Cardinal Arinze too. I sure hope he gets to be Pope someday.
A friend of mine met him at the World Youth Day in Toronto. She is super intelligent and ended up have a huge discussion with him, one on one in a reception tent!! Totally very cool, it was!

Posted by: Patricia at May 7, 2008 5:10 PM


That is AWESOME about your friend! I too, hope he becomes pope, but after B16 reigns another 30 years. Do you listen to the Cardinal Arinze podcast? It's good stuff!

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at May 7, 2008 5:12 PM


Thanks Mk, that was my point.


And now my concern in Iraq is for the Christian population there, because they are in the minority and they are greatly persecuted.

My biggest fear is that if we leave like so many want to, there will be a greater bloodshed.

Posted by: LizFromNebraska at May 7, 2008 5:21 PM


Yeah, she's German and a pretty tough woman. I love her dearly. She's had a very hard life being divorced and abandoned by her husband too. We always tease her that everyone thought that the Germans through Hitler were trying to take over the world.
Now the Germans really have taken over the world with a German Pope!! lol

Posted by: Patricia at May 7, 2008 5:24 PM


You are priceless, Liz.

And now my concern in Iraq is for the Christian population there, because they are in the minority and they are greatly persecuted.

First, again, what do you say to the families of 400,000 to 800,000 mostly Islamic casualties that didn't ask us to come and turn their lives into hell? "Sucks to you, but leave my fellow Christians alone!"

Second, Christians in Iraq were not persecuted under Saddam. Without him there to keep order, however, it is a different story. Welcome to yet another unfavorable consequence of this disaster. Maybe we should have considered this before we swaggered in with guns blazing.

Posted by: Ray at May 7, 2008 5:35 PM


Okay Bobby, my girls are willing to go to your state to babysit Gianna! Anytime! lol

Posted by: Patricia at May 7, 2008 6:01 PM


Heir,

I don't understand what you were trying to say.

Posted by: mk at May 7, 2008 1:37 PM

Yeah, I re-read my post, and that wasn't too clear was it?

What I meant was that perhaps the Archbishop was uncomfortable with substituting his own judgment with the judgment of the priests who know those particular parishioners best.

It just seems like it's popular around here sometimes to assume that we can know what Pelosi or Kerry's relationship with the Church is, and the fact is that we don't. I thought it was nice that the Archbishop isn't willing to fall into that particular fallacy.

On another note, I have a question for you, MK (or Bobby) about Catholic doctrine. I was thinking about it in light of this post, actually.

Is it Catholic doctrine that any Catholic who holds a secular legislative position must actively pursue legislation that would bring secular law in line with Catholic doctrine? Or conversely, must that legislator always refrain from taking any position on legislation that might contradict Catholic doctrine?


Posted by: Hieronymous at May 7, 2008 6:07 PM


Hier:
"It just seems like it's popular around here sometimes to assume that we can know what Pelosi or Kerry's relationship with the Church is, and the fact is that we don't.

you are correct in a sense that we don't know what Pelosi or Kennedy's or Kerry's relationship is with the Catholic Church. However, in the case of such high profile Catholics, that is the parish priest or the bishops duty. If someone such as Pelosi is contradicting Catholic teaching on a grave matter such as abortion, it would be the duty of her bishop to speak with her about this. I think it would be accurate to say that it's a matter of helping to determine what the situation is and to help this person form her conscience in accordance with Catholic teaching. If after such "discussions" the person in question does not make amends then the bishop can instruct his parish priest to deny him communion. This is not viewed as a punishment as rogue Catholics have portrayed it but as the person placing themselves outside the body of Christ - that is outside of the faithful.
In this way, a legislator cannot support legislation which is gravely illicit or immoral such as abortion on demand or same-sex marriage legislation. Abortion is always wrong according to the Catholic Church and therefore there can be no circumstance in which a truly Catholic politician could vote for such a law.
This is my understanding of Catholic teaching on such matters.

Posted by: Patricia at May 7, 2008 6:30 PM


Well said, P.

Posted by: carder at May 7, 2008 6:42 PM


mk:
I'm gone for the day, and look what happens! I may never catch up.
I read a few posts...very touching.

I had a half hour all by myself at the Adoration Chapel today ( what an awesome experience to be there alone). I prayed for everyone I could think of from Jill's site. MK, as I knelt praying, I looked down at the votive candles and saw the word "emkay" embossed on each candle holder. I never noticed that before! I'll catch up later. God bless you all!

Posted by: Janet at May 7, 2008 7:05 PM


Maybe this has already been shown, but in case it has not --- here is what our Bishops have to say about Catholics in the Political life.
http://www.usccb.org/bishops/catholicsinpoliticallife.shtml

Here is a significant portion:
The Eucharist is the source and summit of Catholic life. Therefore, like every Catholic generation before us, we must be guided by the words of St. Paul, “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” (1 Cor 11:27). This means that all must examine their consciences as to their worthiness to receive the Body and Blood of our Lord. This examination includes fidelity to the moral teaching of the Church in personal and public life.

The question has been raised as to whether the denial of Holy Communion to some Catholics in political life is necessary because of their public support for abortion on demand. Given the wide range of circumstances involved in arriving at a prudential judgment on a matter of this seriousness, we recognize that such decisions rest with the individual bishop in accord with the established canonical and pastoral principles. Bishops can legitimately make different judgments on the most prudent course of pastoral action. Nevertheless, we all share an unequivocal commitment to protect human life and dignity and to preach the Gospel in difficult times.

The polarizing tendencies of election-year politics can lead to circumstances in which Catholic teaching and sacramental practice can be misused for political ends. Respect for the Holy Eucharist, in particular, demands that it be received worthily and that it be seen as the source for our common mission in the world.

Posted by: Brian at May 7, 2008 7:42 PM


The answer to Hiero's question is here:

Failing to protect the lives of innocent and defenseless members of the human race is to sin against justice. Those who formulate law therefore have an obligation in conscience to work toward correcting morally defective laws, lest they be guilty of cooperating in evil and in sinning against the common good.

same website:
http://www.usccb.org/bishops/catholicsinpoliticallife.shtml

Posted by: Brian at May 7, 2008 7:55 PM


Heir,

I guess everyone beat me to it. I just want to add that this Bishop would not have been assuming what Pelosi, etc. think. They have made it clear by their actions. It is necessary for someone in authority to speak out. If the priest isn't, then yes, I believe the Bishop should. If these guys weren't in the public eye, then they wouldn't be called to the carpet in the public eye. Nancy Pelosi put politics before her faith, NOT just by her stance on things like abortion, but by using the Popes mass as a way to thumb her nose at the Catholic Church. She is a smart woman, and there is no way that she is not aware of how the Catholic Church veiws her. She should not have received communion, not ONLY because her political views cooperate in grave sin, but also because it showed great disrespect for the Eucharist. Simply sitting it out is what she should have done. I have forgone communion myself many a time, because I hadn't gone to confession. It's painful, yes, but it's what you do.

Many, many Sundays my older boys don't go to communion. Contrary to be disappointed in them for being in a state of sin, I am proud of them for respecting the sacrament enough to sit it out...

Posted by: mk at May 7, 2008 8:56 PM


I love Christians that identify themselves as Catholic.

MK, your Damascus Road experience was aweseom, a true conversion story. God is with you.

While the shepherds of the flock are repsonsible to God for their sheep, they are not responsible when the sheep decides on their own to stray and stay away and disobey.

Guiliani and Pelosi are two people who call themselves Catholic. My question is why, when there are so many other apostate sects out there whose teaching fits their behavior. The Bible is clear that we should not take communion unworthily. If these people are as smart as they claim to be why can they not understand and obey a command that even a child could understand?

And if they claim ignorance, they should never be given positions of leadership. If they are not ignorant then they are gross liars. Check and Mate.

Posted by: HisMan at May 7, 2008 10:21 PM


Can someone, (Bobby?) remind me what the policy is? If a politician (Guiliani for example) thinks abortion is wrong and never participates in one personally, but doesn't think it should be illegal, has he sinned? I recall someone saying that yes, he has. If that' so, would a Catholic politician be in hot water (and denied communion for not supporting a law making adultery illegal? I haven't heard of that happening. Is there a difference? Adultery must be almost as bad as abortion in the eyes of the Church. Or what about a Catholic politician who doesn't want birth control to be illegal (b.c. is a sin, right?) do that person get denied communion. Again, I don't think so. Death penalty? Gay Marriage? Which church doctrines can you disagree with and still take communion, and why?

Does it make a difference if you're a politician? John Doe, bus driver, believes that abortion is wrong and that no one should ever have one, but votes for Obama for some strange reason. Does he get denied communion? What if he publicly endoreses Obama?

If being a politician makes a difference, how big a politician do you have to be? City Council, or just U.S. Senate?

sorry for so many questions, but I'm intrigued by the idea that some people can get in trouble with the church even if they agree with, and live up to, church doctrine personally.

Posted by: Hal at May 8, 2008 12:34 AM


Hal:

You bring up some good and logical questions.
I hope MK answers you on them tomorrow as well.

My general opinion is that a totally surrendered Christian would, in obedience, put God (as expressed in how he conducts his everyday life) first and all else second, leaving the results of the obedience in God's hands. Obviously that would cause problems for a lukewarm or half-hearted Christian politician as his job requires that he represent a diversity of people, a situation which would always put him at risk of bowing to the pressures of compromise.

St. Paul is a great example of how one should conduct himself when faced with an injustice or situation where taking the easy way out would be a huge temptation. Paul was falsley accused and then imprisoned. As a Roman citizen he had a right to appeal directly to Ceasar, but at the risk that if he lost the appeal, he would be executed. Trusting God, he appealed and won, and gained his freedom. His faith in God was vindicated.

Same with Shadrack, Meshack and Abednigo, who would not bow down to King Nebuchadnezzar. They were thrown into a fire that was made 7 times hotter than normal and emerged without even a hint of smoke on them. This caused the king to eventually change his life view. The lesson is that one should never compromise the truth no matter the cost.

Having said all that, and from the church's perspective, if it is within the power of a politician to limit, stop or defeat an evil and takes no action against it, either by proclamation, declaration or legislation, I would think there would be a spiritual culpability. He has rendered his faith of no effect, thereby nullifying it. "Faith without works is dead." and "without faith it is impossible to please God". Yous takes yur risks.

Is abortion worse than adultery? No. However, in most states adultery is grounds for divorce, so there is at least some built-in prohibition or limiter against it as divorces can be very costly. Just ask Paul McCartney. Therefore, the state has not willed divorce an action without consequence as they have with abortion. Also, there are no Planned Divorcehood's out there getting $300,000,000 fron Uncle Sam, which is earmarked for "education", however, you've got to admit, it all goes into the same till and it frees up $300.000,000 to spend on abortion proliferation.

Regarding our friend the bus driver who's pro-life and votes for Obama? We all will stand before God and give an account for what we said and did in this life. Personally, there could be no way I would feel comfortable knowing I was about to face God and had deliberateley withheld justice, even in a minute way, from an innocent baby in the womb. Do I pretned to know what God would do or how He would judge? Nope, I'm not that smart nor do I have all knowledge necessary to make the decision. I do think our consciences are good guides though, especially the consceince within a person who if filled with the Holy Spirit. When I mess up I know it, and I've just got to get on my knees and have a little talk with Jesus before I feel any peace again.

Shalom.

Posted by: HisMan at May 8, 2008 2:03 AM


Hey, thanks to everyone who chipped in to answer my questions. I would also be really interested in any answers to Hal's questions, because those occurred to me too.

Posted by: Hieronymous at May 8, 2008 7:26 AM


Hal, if no one else does by then, I'll get to your question today, hopefully in the afternoon.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at May 8, 2008 8:30 AM


Hey there Hal.

"Can someone, (Bobby?) remind me what the policy is? If a politician (Guiliani for example) thinks abortion is wrong and never participates in one personally, but doesn't think it should be illegal, has he sinned?"

OK, I"ll try and give some general principles that hopefully everyone can agree on and then we'll look at some specifics. The problem with the "I'm personal opposed to _____, but I don't want to impose my personal beliefs" argument usually lies in what they are opposed to. For example, I'm personally opposed to eating meat on Fridays, but I would never want to impose that belief on others. Now that's a personal preference or discipline. But it becomes nonsensical when you start putting moral issues in there. No one would buy it if someone said "I'm personally opposed to slavery, but I don't want to impose my personal beliefs on others." Or rape, or terrorism, or pedophilia etc. So when someone says that concerning abortion, the question must be asked WHY they are personally opposed to it. Are they personally opposed to it because they believe it's the killing of an innocent person? Well, I'm sorry, but it either is or it isn't the killing of an innocent person. If you believe that it is the killing of an innocent person, you MUST be opposed to it. There is no other law which allows the direct and willful killing of an innocent. The right to life is the most basic right, which nothing else trumps. It is illogical to personally believe something is murder just for you but not murder for a society.

"If that' so, would a Catholic politician be in hot water (and denied communion for not supporting a law making adultery illegal?"

That's a good question. I haven't heard of that either. There may be an argument to be made that it couldn't be enforced, but I'm not sure.

"Or what about a Catholic politician who doesn't want birth control to be illegal (b.c. is a sin, right?) do that person get denied communion."

Right, it is a sin when used as a contraceptive. It should be noted that birth control pills in-and-of-themselves are not intrinsically evil. Just ask some of our friends here who's cycles are more regular and less painful. Now again, other forms of b.c. may be difficult to enforce as illegal. Like you could market a condom as having some other purpose, but everyone knows what it would really do.

I should now mention that currently, there are what we call the 5 non-negotiables for Catholics. These are abortion, homosexual marriage, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning, and euthanasia. Both the Catholic politicians and voters must be opposed to all 5 of the items I listed. Now what that means in practical terms is up for debate. We may disagree on the best way to keep all those things from happening. But I guess that right now, those are kinda the "hot" issues, and there hasn't been much talk about outlawing b.c. or adultery, so I actually don't know what the Catholic understanding of laws involving those should be.


"Death penalty? Gay Marriage? Which church doctrines can you disagree with and still take communion, and why?"

So I mentioned the non-negotiable above. Death penalty actually can be permitted in Catholic moral teaching. There is no definitive answer on it.

While I"m at it, let me give the idea of why someone could not receive communion. In general, a Catholic may not receive communion if they are in what's called a state of mortal sin. This means that they have done something that cuts them off from God. These include the things mentioned above and also missing mass on Sunday or a Holy Day, stealing a large amount of something, masturbation, fornication, and many others. One "loses" their mortal sin status after going to confession, BTW.

OK, now as a Catholic public figure, you have influence over the behavior and understanding of Catholic teaching to other Catholics, whether you know it or not, like it or not. Thus supporting something that is a mortal sin can cause what we call scandal to other catholics; that is, it can confuse them and pursuade them that these mortal sins are okay. Hence, the principle here is that PUBLIC scandal requires PUBLIC discipline. It must be made known that the actions of the politician are not extoller's by the church. The denial of communion means that you are not IN communion with the church. So hopefully that gives the idea.

"Does it make a difference if you're a politician? John Doe, bus driver, believes that abortion is wrong and that no one should ever have one, but votes for Obama for some strange reason. Does he get denied communion? What if he publicly endoreses Obama?"

First of all, no, he would not be denied communion since voting is a private matter and even endorsing a candidate doesn't mean you necessarily agree with all his positions. I also do not think it would be a sin to vote for Obama. Some may disagree with me, but what a good Catholic needs to do is form their voting conscience according to the 5 points I mentioned above. Now if they think Obama is the best choice bearing the non-negotiability of those 5 points in mind, very well. I think he is not, by far, not the best choice. But that is my OPINION. Someone else could look at Obama, the 5 points, and decide he is the best man for the job. I don't know how, but I'm not going to say it's impossible. That's what I think. Some of my fellow Catholics may disagree.

"If being a politician makes a difference, how big a politician do you have to be? City Council, or just U.S. Senate?"

It's not so much being a politician as it is publicly supporting some sort of immoral behavior like the ones I mentioned above. As far as size of publicity that you mentioned, it all falls within the local diocese. So if the mayor is supporting abortion, the bishop needs to be aware of it and disciple as he sees fit. I'm sure there are local politicians in the St. Louis diocese (where Bishop Burke is) who are being denied communion.

"sorry for so many questions, but I'm intrigued by the idea that some people can get in trouble with the church even if they agree with, and live up to, church doctrine personally."

No, that's quite alright. I don't think I did a good job of answering. I was kinda all over the place. Let me know if I can clarify anything. God love you, Hal.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at May 8, 2008 10:29 AM


Hal: 12:34: sorry for so many questions, but I'm intrigued by the idea that some people can get in trouble with the church even if they agree with, and live up to, church doctrine personally.

Catholics are responsible for witnessing the faith to others, which is why they must "practice the faith" and "preach" the truth of the Catholic Church.

Posted by: Janet at May 8, 2008 10:40 AM


Hal,

Oddly enough, when I was dropping my kids off at school today, Relevant Radio was talking about taking communion in the hand vs by mouth...while they didn't actually address the issues you asked about they did say something very interesting.

Because the Catholic Church is a single body made up of many persons, what one person does, affects the body as a whole.

Bobby touched on this yesterday. Sin creates evil. Evil feeds on sin. Amanda asked if homosexuals that loved each other were hurting anyone else, and Bobby said, yes. What one member does, affects the whole.

When the priest scandal exploded, it wasn't just that the priests hurt those children, they also harmed the entire church...each and every member of the Catholic community was affected by the sin of each priest.

So when a politician openly condones or supports a gravely sinful matter, it hurts each and every member of the church. Sometimes in an obvious way as with the priest scandal, and sometimes in a metaphysical way...by tainting the holiness and purity of the Church herself.

While Bobby is right in essence that a Catholic could vote for Obama, they would be hard pressed and have to jump through many, many hoops to justify it. Would they be denied communion?

It's not really up to a priest to scrutinize every single person that received communion. Each person should be scrutinizing themselves. BUT, each and every priest has the obligation (and THIS is where I think they are failing miserably) to make it CLEAR to the members of the church when something is wrong.

80% of Catholics probably don't know what a mortal sin is, that missing mass constitutes one, that there are rules for receiving communion, that voting for abortion (not just a candidate who supports it, but because a candidate supports it...

And anytime a member of the church sins due to ignorance, it is the priests and bishops that will be held accountable, not the individuals. It is their job to shepherd us, to protect us, to lead us, and if they are remiss in their duties, then it is they, and not us, that are responsible.

Which is why Janet, John L., Bobby, Jacqueline, Patricia, Carder and so many others here are so vocal about our faith. We are trying to get the word out, what it means to be Catholic, truly Catholic. Once you know, you are responsible for what you know.

Posted by: mk at May 8, 2008 10:49 AM


It has to do with the Bishops attitude. He obviously isnt as obsessed with abortion as you are.
Posted by: TexasRed at May 8, 2008 11:49 AM

Yeah, TR. That's it. Thanks for clearing it up. And here I was thinking that all Catholic Bishops were prolife and interested in shepherding their flocks. Silly me. What was I thinin'!

Posted by: mk at May 8, 2008 12:41 PM


Oh and TR,

If I'm obsessed with abortion because I spend my time here fighting for the right to life, what does that make you? You're here because....????

Posted by: mk at May 8, 2008 12:43 PM


thank you all. I understand better now. Enough to satisfy my curiosity for now. Very interesting.

Posted by: Hal at May 8, 2008 12:57 PM


You are welcome, Hal. Any time!

Posted by: Janet at May 8, 2008 1:56 PM


Awww, and this was such a nice,productive conversation until TR showed up...

Posted by: Elizabeth at May 8, 2008 5:50 PM


Elizabeth,

Right?!?

Posted by: mk at May 8, 2008 5:55 PM


I would have to say that it is a shared responsibility between the individual, the local pastor, and the bishop. The individual has a responsibility to meditate on these issues and ask the Holy Spirit to guide their judgement. Issues like abortion are so obviously against Christian teaching and according to the Catholic church. I believe the Church's position is that even the act of assisting in abortion is so grave that the act itself excommunicates you from the Church.

Posted by: truthseeker at May 9, 2008 12:13 AM


I think that was justifiable homicide. Self defense. They were trespassing!!!!

MK, you just stated a pro-choice argument. ;)

Posted by: Edyt at May 9, 2008 12:19 AM