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 We have a response from Priests For Life

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victoire
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PostSubject: We have a response from Priests For Life   Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:15 pm

Fr. Frank is very grateful for your letter and has asked me
to respond





Thank
you for your question about excommunication. The Code of Canon Law offers
bishops various options for dealing with those who publicly depart from Church
teaching. The first, and most basic, is to clearly enunciate the teachings of
the Church, and our bishops have certainly done that. In regard to
excommunication, there are various conditions and limits set by canon law. But
canon law is not the only consideration. Bishops must make pastoral judgments
as to what actions in a particular circumstance will best accomplish what they
need to do. We at Priests for Life trust that local bishops make the best judgment
that they can in their pastoral circumstances. We also know that much goes on
behind the scenes that we do not hear or know about, such as private meetings
with those who contradict Church teaching. The following passage from the US
Bishops' document Living the Gospel of Life (1998), n.29. may further help you
understand the approach which the bishops take. Meanwhile, we ask you to pray
for, support, and encourage our bishops in the tremendously difficult job they
have.


"As
bishops, we have the responsibility to call Americans to conversion, including
political leaders, and especially those publicly identified as Catholic. As the
Holy Father reminds us in The Splendor of the Truth (Veritatis Splendor):
". . . [It] is part of our pastoral ministry to see to it that [the
Church's] moral teaching is faithfully handed down, and to have recourse to
appropriate measures to ensure that the faithful are guarded from every
doctrine and theory contrary to it" (116). As chief teachers in the
Church, we must therefore explain, persuade, correct and admonish those in
leadership positions who contradict the Gospel of life through their actions
and policies. Catholic public officials who disregard Church teaching on the
inviolability of the human person indirectly collude in the taking of innocent
life. A private call to conversion should always be the first step in dealing
with these leaders. Through prayer, through patiently speaking the truth in
love, and by the witness of our lives, we must strive always to open their
hearts to the God-given dignity of the unborn and of all vulnerable persons. So
also we must remind these leaders of their duty to exercise genuine moral
leadership in society. They do this not by unthinking adherence to public
opinion polls or by repeating empty pro-choice slogans, but by educating and
sensitizing themselves and their constituents to the humanity of the unborn
child. At the same time we need to redouble our efforts to evangelize and
catechize our people on the dignity of life and the wrongness of abortion.
Nonetheless, some Catholic officials may exclude themselves from the truth by
refusing to open their minds to the Church's witness. In all cases, bishops
have the duty and pastoral responsibility to continue to challenge those
officials on the issue in question and persistently call them to a change of
heart. As bishops we reflect particularly on the words of the Office of
Readings: 'Let us be neither dogs that do not bark nor silent onlookers nor
paid servants who run away before the wolf. Instead, let us be careful
shepherds watching over Christ's flock. Let us preach the whole of God's plan
to the powerful and the humble, to rich and to poor, to men of every rank and
age, as far as God gives us the strength, in season and out of season, as St.
Gregory writes in his book of Pastoral Instruction.'"


Please
continue to keep in contact with us so that we may work together to build a
culture of life. Be assured of our prayers.






You can be a part of Fr. Frank’s radio shows. Find out
when to call in with your questions or comments at www.priestsforlife.org/media/schedule.htm.






Sincerely,





Anne Ameno


Priests for Life


Outreach Associate
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Portia
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PostSubject: Re: We have a response from Priests For Life   Thu Feb 05, 2009 5:05 pm

In answer to your question, Victoire, it sounds to me that excommunication is the penalty of last resort.

The letter states:
Quote :
The Code of Canon Law offers bishops various options for dealing with those who publicly depart from Church teaching. The first, and most basic, is to clearly enunciate the teachings of the Church, and our bishops have certainly done that.


But canon law is not the only consideration. Bishops must make pastoral judgments as to what actions in a particular circumstance will best accomplish what they need to do.


We at Priests for Life trust that local bishops make the best judgment that they can in their pastoral circumstances. We also know that much goes on behind the scenes that we do not hear or know about, such as private meetings with those who contradict Church teaching.

The letter speaks of limits and conditions set by Canon Law with regard to excommunication but doesn't say what these are.

From Living the Gospel of Life, the Bishops 1998 document that is also referenced in the letter:

Quote :
"As bishops, we have the responsibility to call Americans to conversion, including political leaders, and especially those publicly identified as Catholic. As the Holy Father reminds us in The Splendor of the Truth (Veritatis Splendor):". . . [It] is part of our pastoral ministry to see to it that [the Church's] moral teaching is faithfully handed down, and to have recourse to appropriate measures to ensure that the faithful are guarded from every doctrine and theory contrary to it" (116).


As chief teachers in the Church, we must therefore explain, persuade, correct and admonish those in leadership positions who contradict the Gospel of life through their actions and policies. Catholic public officials who disregard Church teaching on the inviolability of the human person indirectly collude in the taking of innocent life. A private call to conversion should always be the first step in dealing with these leaders. Through prayer, through patiently speaking the truth in love, and by the witness of our lives, we must strive always to open their hearts to the God-given dignity of the unborn and of all vulnerable persons. So also we must remind these leaders of their duty to exercise genuine moral leadership in society.

The bishops' approach is to explain, persuade, correct, admonish, pray, speak the truth in love and set an example by the witness of their lives. That's my take on the response you received.

What was your initial question regarding excommunication?
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PostSubject: Re: We have a response from Priests For Life   Thu Feb 05, 2009 5:19 pm

i basically took the postition that they had done all that and none of it had done any good.
The problem is the example this sets when we have such a problem with the laity beleiving that you can be pro abortion and Catholic.Doesn't help.

Mentioned that too.The way i took thie reply was if all else failed(which it has)then it would be a decision of the Bishop(s).

Think you're saying the same thing.
Your avatar is darling.Love it.
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PostSubject: Re: We have a response from Priests For Life   Thu Feb 05, 2009 7:48 pm

Quote :
i basically took the postition that they had done all that

Well, I agee that they have done all that but it seems that many of them are continuing with that approach. Not all of the bishops will even deny proabortion politicians Holy Communion. Despite the 2004 letter from then Cardinal Ratzinger, as prefect for the CDF, to Cardinal McCarrick on the Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion, the bishops decided that each of them would decide how to handle it in their own dioceses.


Last edited by Portia on Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: We have a response from Priests For Life   Fri Feb 06, 2009 7:51 am

then it is time we spoke up.
There are several ways we can go about doing this.
When we get a few more members here we can take it up.
I also found a place to do an online petition.Will search my bookmarks and see if i can find it.
Let me know what you think.
This is unacceptable isn't it?!
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PostSubject: Re: We have a response from Priests For Life   Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:06 pm

This is what Canon 915 states:

Quote :
Can. 915 Those upon whom the penalty of excommunication or interdict has been imposed or declared, and others who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin, are not to be admitted to holy communion.

And here is something on this very subject issued a few says ago by American Life League President, Judie Brown:

Link

Quote :
Washington, DC (4 February 2009) – Judie Brown, president of American Life League, issued a statement today in response to an interview in which Archbishop Raymond Burke, prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, the Vatican's highest court, stated,

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 … This is a law of the universal Church and it should be applied.

About the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Burke commented,

I think this argument [that this matter should be decided by the USCCB] 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… 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.

Statement by Judie Brown:

"It has long been American Life League's contention that canon law applies within the Church in the same way that state, federal or local law applies to the citizens of the United States. At American Life League, our focus has been on Canon 915, which is written for the express purpose of protecting the body and blood of Christ from sacrilege.

We have repeatedly called on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to enforce this law, abide by this law and deny the Holy Eucharist to any public figure who claims to be Catholic while at the same time supporting abortion. Abortion is an intrinsically evil act, and no Catholic who supports that act in any way should be permitted to receive Christ.

We are deeply grateful for the definitive words of Archbishop Raymond Burke. Archbishop Burke was also asked about Catholic bishops who claim that denying Holy Communion to a pro-abortion politician "makes the Communion rail a [political] battleground." He simply and succinctly responded, "Nonsense." We extend our sincere gratitude to Archbishop Burke for once again making it clear why every single Catholic bishop and priest not only should enforce Canon 915, but is obliged to do so for the sake of souls and for the sake of protecting Christ in the Holy Eucharist from sacrilege."
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PostSubject: Re: We have a response from Priests For Life   Sat Feb 07, 2009 8:25 pm

While I believe we must be obedient to our Bishops, I answer first to God and then to the Holy Father. Perhaps we need to remember as Catholics that are US citizens that we do have a person we can appeal to if Church law is disregarded. The Pope!
To fail to do so after all efforts are exhausted smacks of a lack of love for our Bishops. Fraternal correction is an act of charity(love), not disobedience.
I think I like ArchBishop Burke. : )
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