Almost as if to demonstrate the old adage that “The grinding wheel of the Creator’s Justice grinds slowly, but exceedingly fine,” the Church has finally come out with a document condemning liturgical abuses. Weighing in at nearly 25,000 words, Redemptionis Sacramentum: On certain matters to be observed or to be avoided regarding the Most Holy Eucharist, this Instruction, originating from the offices of the Congregation for Divine Worship, (Francis Cardinal Arinze, Prefect) takes aim at a host of practices that are “not infrequently” plaguing masses. It notes further that “[I]n some places the perpetration of liturgical abuses has become almost habitual, a fact which obviously cannot be allowed and must cease.”
Overshadowing the admittedly “inside baseball” nature of most of the document was Arinze’s straightforward reply at the news conference introducing it, when asked if a priest should refuse communion to a politician who unambiguously supports a woman’s “right” to choose abortion.
Theological point of information—A woman may have the free will to choose abortion, but she has no right to do so, as all rights ultimately derive from God, and there is no right to kill an innocent.
“Yes,” he answered. “If the person should not receive it, then it should not be given. Objectively, the answer is there.”
John Kerry, and many other so-called Catholic politicians who are pro-abortion, often attempt to rationalize their position explaining that they are “personally opposed to it,” but support the current laws, blissfully ignoring the obvious contradiction of one being personally opposed to something that he personally supports! Of course, nearly everyone else—especially the media—has either ignored this contradiction as well, or is simply either too biased or too stupid to raise the point.
Kerry has also said that he “keeps his religion separate from his public life,” another oft-heard nonsense statement, albeit popular in this functionally atheistic country. For a “religion” which merely consists in going to Mass once per week, and not living the Faith is no religion at all.
Take any dictionary definition of “religion” (here’s one)
the personal commitment to and serving of God or a god with worshipful devotion, conduct in accord with divine commands especially as found in accepted sacred writings or declared by authoritative teachers, a way of life recognized as incumbent on true believers, and typically the relating of oneself to an organized body of believers
and please tell me how this can be separated from your life, public OR private.
Of course, there was also swift reaction to Arinze from Frances Kissling, president of a pro-abortion front group, masquerading under the very American sounding name of Catholics for a Free Choice, accusing the Vatican of not understanding the separation of church and state.
“It is time for Church leaders to acknowledge that the threat of denying the sacraments to Catholics who disagree with their positions has no basis in Church law. It is both bad politics and bad religion,” she said.
Exposing her incredible ignorance of basic Canon law, Church history, and the media’s ignornace of all matters theological, she seems unaware that the only time excommunication is used is precisely WHEN individual Catholics “disagree with their positions,” since their positions (notably in the case of abortion) are absolutely in accord with Canon law. Under what other circumstances would the sacraments ever be denied?
As to “bad politics,” whatever can that mean? That the Church has to be politically correct to stay hip with the times? Tell that to the martyrs, or to the Founder Himself, who was so non-PC that he got crucified for his trouble. Frances, you should go see The Passion, it will clear up a lot of this for you.
But then Kissling and her fellow travelers could simply be products of the times. After all, when LA’s biggest abortionist and nominal Catholic James Mc Mahon died some years ago, he was secretly given a full Catholic funeral, creating a serious scandal, even though it was considerably hushed up.
Maybe Francis Arinze, the stand-up guy, and tough talking Cardinal from Nigeria is getting the Church back on track. And not a moment too soon.