Friday, February 06, 2009

Note To Self --- Ignore This
From the USCCB's to-do list

Someone notify the incoming Archbishop of Detroit. In case anyone wasn't aware, less than two weeks ago, Detroit Archbishop-elect Allen Vigneron declined to answer whether he would deny Holy Communion to Catholic politicians who support abortion rights, calling it a “hypothetical question.”

I haven't seen leadership this strong since Neville Chamberlain. Well, maybe Jimmy Carter.

Anyhow, here's the entire article from; (Emphasis mine)
Vatican Official: Bishops Have no Choice But to Refuse Communion to Pro-Abort Politicians

By Hilary White

ROME, January 30, 2009 ( - Archbishop Raymond Burke, in an exclusive interview last week, told that the issue of pro-abortion politicians continuing to receive Holy Communion is still one of major concern and that it is the duty of bishops to ensure that they are refused.

He told, "I don't understand the continual debate that goes on about it. There's not a question that a Catholic who publicly, and after admonition, supports pro-abortion legislation is not to receive Holy Communion and is not to be given Holy Communion."

"The Church's law is very clear," said Archbishop Burke, who was appointed last year by Pope Benedict XVI as the head of the Church's highest court, the Apostolic Signatura. "The person who persists publicly in grave sin is to be denied Holy Communion, and it [Canon Law] doesn't say that the bishop shall decide this. It's an absolute."

Among the US bishops directly to address the issue, Archbishop Burke was one of around a dozen who vigorously supported a directive of the Vatican that said pro-abortion Catholic politicians "must be refused" Holy Communion if they attempt to receive at Mass. Others have refused to abide by the Vatican instruction and the Church's own Code of Canon Law, saying they would rather focus on "education" of such politicians.

Archbishop Burke called "nonsense" the accusation, regularly made by some bishops, that refusing Holy Communion "makes the Communion rail a [political] battle ground". In fact, he said, the precise opposite is true. The politician who insists on being seen receiving Holy Communion, despite his opposition to the Church's central teachings, is using that reception for political leverage.

In 2004, when self-proclaimed Catholic and candidate for the Democrat party, Sen. John Kerry, was frequently photographed receiving Holy Communion despite his vigorous support of abortion, the US Bishops Conference issued a document which said only that it is up to individual bishops whether to implement the Church's code of Canon Law and refuse Communion. The issue has remained prominent with the appointment of Joe Biden, another pro-abortion Catholic politician, as Vice President of the United States of America.

Archbishop Burke recalled previous experiences with Kerry, pointing to the several occasions when the senator was pictured in Time magazine receiving Communion from Papal representatives at various public events. Burke said that it is clear that Kerry was using his reception of Holy Communion to send a message.

"He wants to not only receive Holy Communion from a bishop but from the papal representative. I think that's what his point was. Get it in Time magazine, so people read it and say to themselves, 'He must be in good standing'."
"What are they doing? They're using the Eucharist as a political tool."

In refusing, far from politicising the Eucharist, the Church is returning the matter to its religious reality. The most important reasons to refuse, he said, are pastoral and religious in nature.

"The Holy Eucharist, the most sacred reality of our life in the Church, has to be protected against sacrilege. At the same time, individuals have to be protected for the sake of their own salvation from committing one of the gravest sins, namely to receive Holy Communion unworthily."

Archbishop Burke also dismissed the commonly proffered excuse that such politicians need more "education". Speaking from his own direct experience, he said that Catholic politicians who are informed by their pastors or bishops that their positions in support of pro-abortion legislation makes it impossible for them to receive Holy Communion, "I've always found that they don't come forward."

"When you talk to these people, they know," he said. "They know what they're doing is very wrong. They have to answer to God for that, but why through our pastoral negligence add on to that, that they have to answer to God for who knows how many unworthy receptions of Holy Communion?"

Archbishop Burke said that the issue had been debated enough. He rejected the idea that the matter should be left to the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, saying the Conference has no authority in the matter. "This is a law of the universal Church and it should be applied."

"I think this argument too is being used by people who don't want to confront the issue, this whole 'wait 'til the Conference decides'...well the Conference has been discussing this since at least 2004. And nothing happens."

When asked what the solution was, he responded, "Individual bishops and priests simply have to do their duty. They have to confront politicians, Catholic politicians, who are sinning gravely and publicly in this regard. And that's their duty.

"And if they carry it out, not only can they not be reproached for that, but they should be praised for confronting this situation."
To Archbishop Burke, I'll tell you exactly why such a sizable percentage of priests and bishops in this country have no problem whatsoever in giving Holy Communion to pro-abortion politicians... because they either don't believe in The Real Presence, or they don't believe in the existence of sin.

Or both.


Blogger Joe of St. Thérèse said...

I can only say, I totally agree with you on your conclusion

12:53 AM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

Vir - sad but true!

1:04 AM  
Blogger Al said...


While a good number of the priests/Bishops you refer to would pay lip service to the "Real Presence" they would no more take a bullet to defend the Eucharist than they would to defend the unborn. Why? Because what they say on their lips is far from what the believe in their hearts.

In other words, you hit the nail right on the head. They don't believe in sin, the real presence or Hell. But they are sure going to be hot under the collar when they find out the truth about how wrong they are. (Sorry, but I just couldn't resist that pun.)

4:10 AM  
Blogger Theophilus said...

You hit the nail on the head!

5:37 AM  
Blogger Arkanabar T'verrick Ilarsadin said...

Let us please, pray for our bishops: that they may gain courage as of St. Paul Miki and his companions, whose memorial this day is, to teach, live, and uphold the Catholic faith at all times.

6:44 AM  
Blogger Simplex Vir said...

OK, so now we have a very strong position stated. When are the heads gonna start rolling?

We are not going to get past this as long as we have the mindset that a bad priest is better than no priest. I believe the opposite is true.

7:11 AM  
Blogger TCN said...

Can we please have Archbishop Burke for our next Pope? Please? He carries a mighty crosier, that one, and these "bishops" need to be hit with the Catholic stick upside their heads, posthaste.

9:05 AM  
Blogger A. Sinner said...

The word "gutless" comes to mind.

10:52 AM  
Blogger Diane M. Korzeniewski said...

I agree with your end conclusion, but I think we need to be careful of passing quick judgement on Archbishop Vigneron based on that statement.

This is a very interesting time. We are seeing a few key bishops standing up in ways we have never seen before. They are being graced with the kind of holy boldness I never thought I would live to see.

This holy boldness is is giving strength and courage to other bishops, and priests. Many trained by others who taught a false sense of charity are going to be reading what other bishops are saying, praying and reflecting. Then, we will see some of them get outspoken and taking action. For this, they need our prayers, and - at times, patience.

I see, at the first stage is this frank communication, as in the example I gave in the link above. We will see lots of these kinds of communications coming out, but will we necessarily see denial of Holy Communion and excommunications just yet?

In time, I believe those will rise.

As bad as Obama's rise to the presidency is for the culture of life, the bishops are being thrust in to face the culture of death in ways that have not yet been tested.

I say, the most important thing for us to do is not to play arm-chair bishop, but to spend even more time in prayer and making sacrifices for holy boldness to manifest itself in some necessary actions.

I'm grateful to have Archbishop Vigneron here in Detroit. Looking through many of his writings and hearing various stories from people who knew him here before, he is going to make changes here. But, anyone looking to see those changes tomorrow, will be greatly disappointed.

Let him settle in, and give him time. Let's watch what he does with specific cases involving Catholic politicians here in the state after he gets his bearings.

Vigneron is said to be close with Archbishop Burke. Perhaps a few more conversations, our prayers, will lead him to take the bull by the horns on cases that are real and not hypothetical. That is how I took his words, interpreting them in a more positive light.

Until then, I invite everyone to offer time in adoration, Rosaries, daily Mass and many other prayers, sacrifices and fasting for him, and all of our bishops.

11:30 AM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

I agree that hope springs eternal. I honestly do hope that Bp Vigneron succeeds in Detriot.

But based on his track record (specifically the train wreck of a diocese he's leaving in his wake in Oakland), I simply am not optomistic.

But I'll still pray for him.

And I thank you for your thought provoking comments! Keep 'em coming!

3:34 PM  
Blogger ignorant redneck said...


I read this today as well. I have as much faith in Abp Viggie as i do in the toot' fairy.

But I do have faith in the Holy Spirit so we can hope.

I'm writting tomarrow about things--I hope I'm not to gloomy.

BTW: Chaeper than dirt. com has cheap ammo, but i haven't found an inexpensive missal yet.

4:18 PM  
Blogger gramps said...

All true. only revolt as I commented in post above will ever make a change.

10:29 PM  
Blogger TCN said...

Redneck: Try ebay. Found a really nice Bishop Sheen missal from 1955 for about $8. Worth the visit, IMO.

1:37 PM  

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