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.
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?