Faithful catholic dating
Faithful catholic dating
At their semi-annual meeting November 10-13th in Baltimore, the United States bishops will discuss the “practical and pastoral implications of political support for abortion.” Some might question the timing of this discussion, coming only days millions of Catholics supported the election of a candidate whom Princeton professor Robert George described as being the most extreme pro-abortion candidate ever to seek the presidency.At the same time, better (barely) late than never, and perhaps the timing will allow for a candid discussion relatively free of USCCB-speak (read “Faithful Citizenship”) or charges of partisanship.
Apart from the automatic excommunication provision of canon law (which to my knowledge has never been applied to politicians) or the possibility of a heresy trial, I believe that canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law should be engaged on its own merits. If not, however, then it would be helpful for the faithful (and probably for the bishops, too) to understand , especially given the clear language of canon 915.
Namely, can it be said that a Catholic politician who for decades has fought for liberalized abortion rights “obstinately persists in manifest grave sin”? I understand both the disinclination to withhold Communion as well as the desire to respect the discretion of individual bishops to make pastoral judgments concerning Catholics in their own jurisdiction.
All I’m asking for is that the canon be applied consistently.
Last month, each umpire during the World Series called balls and strikes a little differently, but at least they were all working from the same criteria as to what constitutes the strike zone.
Similarly, the bishops should be on the same page as to the objective meaning of canon 915 and thus be using the same “strike zone” — and at present they’re not.
When it comes to canon 915, there seem to be some bishops who confuse “visible communion” with “invisible communion” (of course we can’t make judgments about the latter), and others who flat out say that they would never refuse Communion under any circumstance.
That conflicts with the parameters of canon 915 and leads to scandalously inconsistent applications of Church law.Of course canon 915 applies only in exceptional situations, but when it does apply, it should not be seen as a penalty or taking sides politically, but rather as an act of pastoral charity to the sinner as well as to all the faithful.(2) Church documents say that it is “formal cooperation with evil” to vote for a candidate their permissive views on abortion, euthanasia, and presumably same-sex marriage.Even material cooperation is forbidden in the absence of “proportionate reasons.” That’s all well and good.But in the case of the pro-abortion politician himself or herself, he or she is the one with whom the faithful are forbidden formally to cooperate.In other words, what the Church has to say about “formal cooperation” in this situation seems to presuppose the fact that the pro-abortion politicians’ views constitute “manifest grave sin.” If that’s not the case, then it shouldn’t constitute “formal cooperation with evil” to align ourselves politically with such people. The Church says that I would be committing mortal sin in voting for a Catholic politician like Joe Biden or Nancy Pelosi if I do so their pro-abortion views and policies.