Thursday, July 08, 2010

It's not possible to be a practicing Catholic and to conduct oneself in this manner.."

Addressing the scandal of Catholic politicians who support abortion and same-sex "marriage," Archbishop Raymond L. Burke, Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, said that, "It's not possible to be a practicing Catholic and to conduct oneself in this manner." In fact, His Excellency stated clearly that, "Neither Holy Communion nor funeral rites should be administered to such politicians. To deny these is not a judgment of the soul, but a recognition of the scandal and its effects."

And, in an obvious reference to the scandalous Kennedy funeral, Archbishop Burke asserted that when a politician is associated "with greatly sinful acts about fundamental questions like abortion and marriage, his repentance must also be public." See here.

Bearing this in mind, read what Joe Sacerdo has to say about Father Bryan Hehir and the funeral of the late Senator from Massachusetts. Joe's excellent article may be found here.

In his Apostolic Letter Motu Proprio Ad Tuendam Fidem (one has to wonder if some ecclesiastics have ever read it), Pope John Paul II wrote:

"To protect the faith of the Catholic Church against errors arising from certain members of the Christian faithful, especially from among those dedicated to the various disciplines of sacred theology, we, whose principal duty is to confirm the brethren in the faith (Lk 22:32), consider it absolutely necessary to add to the existing texts of the Code of Canon Law and the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, new norms which expressly impose the obligation of upholding truths proposed in a definitive way by the Magisterium of the Church, and which also establish related canonical sanctions....

Canon 750 of the Code of Canon Law will now consist of two paragraphs; the first will present the text of the existing canon; the second will contain a new text. Thus, canon 750, in its complete form, will read:

Canon 750 – § 1. Those things are to be believed by divine and catholic faith which are contained in the word of God as it has been written or handed down by tradition, that is, in the single deposit of faith entrusted to the Church, and which are at the same time proposed as divinely revealed either by the solemn Magisterium of the Church, or by its ordinary and universal Magisterium, which in fact is manifested by the common adherence of Christ’s faithful under the guidance of the sacred Magisterium. All are therefore bound to avoid any contrary doctrines.

§ 2. Furthermore, each and everything set forth definitively by the Magisterium of the Church regarding teaching on faith and morals must be firmly accepted and held; namely, those things required for the holy keeping and faithful exposition of the deposit of faith; therefore, anyone who rejects propositions which are to be held definitively sets himself against the teaching of the Catholic Church."

Is there any doubt that the Church's teaching regarding both abortion and same-sex "marriage" is a teaching which has been "set forth definitively by the Magisterium of the Church"? If anyone then dissents from such teachings, he or she is not in communion with the Church. In his Encyclical Letter Evangelium Vitae, No. 74, Pope John Paul II stated clearly that Christians have a "grave obligation of conscience not to cooperate formally in practices which, even if permitted by civil legislation, are contrary to God’s law. Indeed, from the moral standpoint, it is never licit to cooperate formally in evil. [...] This cooperation can never be justified either by invoking respect for the freedom of others or by appealing to the fact that civil law permits it or requires it."

This seems to be lost on some.

Canon 1184: "Unless they have given some signs of repentance before their death, the following are to be deprived of ecclesiastical funeral rites....(3) '..manifest sinners for whom ecclesiastical funeral rites cannot be granted without public scandal to the faithful."


Stewart said...

You know what really makes me angry? Fr. Hehir's saying that Senator Kennedy would be treated "the same as any other Catholic." In other words, for Fr. Hehir, the "Lion of the Senate" who promoted child killing and homosexual "marriage" was no different from faithful Catholics who abide by the Church's teaching and who live an authentically sacramental.

Since he wasn't in communion with the Church, Senator Kennedy should have been treated accordingly. He should have been denied Holy Eucharist because it is properly the sacrament of those who are in full communion with the Church (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1395, Canon 915). He should have been denied a Catholic funeral in accordance with Canon 1184.

I think the post at Fr. Hehir Exposed should be sent to Archbishop Burke and the CDF. Fr. Hehir's comments are also a source of scandal.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

A person who dissents from the Church's Magisterium is not in living communion with the mind of Christ and is not in a proper condition to receive the sacraments.

Pope John Paul II, in an Address to the U.S. Bishops given on September 16, 1987, said that "It is sometimes claimed that dissent from the Magisterium is totally compatible with being a 'good Catholic' and poses no obstacle to the reception of the sacraments. This is a grave error."

Dissent from the Church's teaching is not compatible with being a "good Catholic." This from the Supreme Pontiff.

How then can Fr. Hehir insist that Senator Kennedy be treated "the same as any other Catholic"?

Joe Sacerdo said...

Stewart and Paul,
A lot of people are equally angry about Fr. Hehir's comments. Here's how to reach Archbishop Burke:

Archbishop Raymond L. Burke
Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura
Palazzo della Cancelleria
00186 Roma, Piazza della Cancelleria, 1

You might also try faxing to the Holy Father's personal secretary, Msgr. Georg Gaenswein, and ask him to pass along your letter to:

His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI
Apostolic Palace
Via del Pellegrino
Citta del Vaticano
Vatican City State, 00120
Fax: 011.3906.6988.53.73

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Joe, thank you again for the important work you are doing at your website. Pope John Paul II has said (more than once) that the error that dissent is compatible with being a "good Catholic" challenges the teaching office of the Bishops. But this error was precisely what Fr. Hehir was advancing when he insisted that that Senator Kennedy be treated "the same as any other Catholic"

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