See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Friday, February 20, 2009

Pelosi and the Church.



Ready for her close-up, but no photo-op with the Pope.
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I don't want to link to anyone or any specific article regarding the controversy over Speaker Pelosi's claim to ardent faith and the Catholic reaction to her obstinate public sin in endorsing abortion and embryonic stem cell research. It has been done to death, a day or so ago Damien Thompson referred to her as "the ghastly Nancy Pelosi". Such drama.
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Bloggers claim the pope "lectured" Mrs. Pelosi, which comes off sounding a bit more dramatic and negative than what the Vatican press release said. Catholic headlines imply the Pope had been disciplining, scolding, or shaking a finger at her in the manner JPII did with that Nicaraguan priest years ago. I rather think Pope Benedict may have been more gracious in offering his rebuke. It seems to me he guides and instructs, intelligently and respectfully, like a loving father; I'm sure his words were full of charity, although frank and to the point. The Vatican press release clarified the essence of the meeting, informing us that the Holy Father indeed reminded the Speaker of the House of Catholic teaching and the responsibilities for those in government or positions of power and influence - especially Catholics - to support life from conception to natural death. I'm quite certain Pelosi expected to hear that. Ignore it, she probably did, since she has yet to comment upon that portion of her conversation with the Pope.
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Nevertheless, the controversy over the reception of the Eucharist must be addressed, and finally settled, by her bishop and/or the bishops of the United States, who can then instruct their priests. It is my understanding, as things stand now, any priest or deacon can, may, maybe should, deny communion to any notorious public sinner to prevent scandal. Although one problem I see with lay extraordinary ministers of the sacrament is that they have no competence to arbitrarily deny communion on their own. (Yes, that's right - I do not like the use of lay people to distribute communion at Mass - taking it to the sick is another matter entirely. But I digress.)
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I also read today, in an interview Archbishop Chaput has stated Mrs. Pelosi should not present herself to receive Holy Communion because of her advocacy of abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and so on. One hopes the Archbishop will work together with the other U.S. bishops to make a definitive statement and require pastors to enforce the decision.
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That said, I also read somewhere that Pelosi met with her local ordinary, Archbishop Niderauer of San Francisco and that she left the encounter "agreeing to disagree", as Obama might say, with Church teaching. Well then... if true...
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I may be wrong, but I have to wonder if the bishops are a little too permissive and perhaps a bit too concerned about public opinion when it comes to political figures and unpopular issues? They sometimes come across as rather weak-willed, and seem to rely too heavily upon a secular notion of diplomacy, scared to death they might scare away unfaithful Catholics if they assert Catholic teaching. I'm not suggesting priests and bishops start screaming hell and brimstone threats to the miscreants, but they need to say something definitive. Right now it appears there is an exaggerated concern for human respect (political correctness) on the part of more than a few churchmen, which only retards action, as well as undermines the credibility and authority of Catholic teaching. We have arrived at a point where laicism has become dogma in the American mentality, to such an extent even self-proclaimed "ardent" Catholics in government feel free to legislate immorality in defiance of Church teaching and natural law.


5 comments:

  1. It is now the "Dr. Laura" teaching moment ...

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  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  3. Terry - it is not really "up to the bishops". It is a matter of Canon Law and should have be followed (as per Archbishop Burke speaking from Rome)

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