Michael Gaynor
"Comfort" is NOT the key to heaven and should not be a cardinal's priority
FacebookTwitterGoogle+
By Michael Gaynor
August 10, 2011

Sadly, Cardinal McCarrick has found an excuse for the sin of disregarding Canon 915 and knowingly giving Communion to pro-abortion nominally Catholic politicians: personal uncomfortableness.

God bless Cardinal Raymond Burke and pro-life champion Judie Brown.

God help Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and the pro-abortion "Catholics."

John-Henry Westen -LifeSiteNews.com, "Vatican officials encouraging push to stop communion for pro-abort pols" 8/6/2011 4:21:00 PM:

"Top officials at the Vatican are throwing their support behind pro-life Catholic leaders campaigning against dioceses allowing pro-abortion politicians receive Holy Communion, says one such leader.

"American Life League President Judie Brown spoke with LifeSiteNews yesterday about her recent trip to Rome, where she spoke with Vatican officials about Communion for pro-abortion politicians and the changing pro-life landscape in America.

"Cardinal Raymond Burke told Brown to be 'persistent' in her campaign to have Canon 915 enforced, she said.

"Canon 915 states: '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.'

"Brown also noted that Burke encouraged her to make use of the numerous articles he himself has written on the subject.

"'He encouraged us to be persistent, to use his articles and not to back down from our position which is the same as his,' she said. "It's not arbitrary it's a matter of the law of the church which needs to be enforced.'

"Cardinal Burke, she noted, spoke of applying the sanction called for in canon 915 as 'therapeutic' in terms of helping people come back in line with the church.

"The fact that many bishops are 'not comfortable' about it, said Brown, doesn't matter.

"Brown also addressed at the meeting how intentional distortions of official Church statements have confused Catholics on the abortion issue.

"'In America, conception is defined as implantation, so when the Church makes a statement — Dignitas Personae is the most recent example — our enemies turn around and say even the Church doesn't believe there's life before implantation,' Brown explained to Zenit news.

"'Church officials must be clear that when the word conception is used, it means the "biological beginning of a person."'

"While in Rome, Brown covered a wide range of topics including America's growing pro-life youth movement, ad hominem attacks on pro-life Catholics, and the ramifications of a 'culture-of-death president.'

"'Cardinal Burke is the primary example of being targeted by the media,' she told LifeSiteNews.com. 'The reason for that is that he won't back down. He tells Catholics all the time, including me, to continue to persist in the faith, and he does it.'

"'We have every reason to be optimistic. But, all Catholics must stand up and be Catholic even when it's uncomfortable,' she concluded."

That was the message of an artidcle of mine titled "Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick: More Concerned with 'Comfort' than Christ?" and posted on July 11, 2004 at CatholicOnline (www.catholic.org/featured/headline.php?ID=1125).

That article began:

"Jesus said: 'If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me' (Luke 9:23).

"The path of Jesus is not always a 'comfortable' one.

"For decades, Roman Catholic priests in the United States have knowingly given Holy Communion to unrepentant, publicly known, nominally Catholic, pro-abortion politicians, out of misguided compassion, excessive political correctness, fear of losing the Church's tax exemption and/or contributions from pro-abortion people, personal preference or ignorance.

"In doing so, they have disregarded, if not deliberately disobeyed, unambiguous canon law.

"On April 23, 2004, Cardinal Francis Arinze, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of Sacraments, explained at a press conference in Rome that unrepentant pro-abortion 'Catholic' politicians should be denied Communion. Cardinal Arinze put it succinctly: 'If they should not receive, then they should not be given.' He was following the mandate of Canon 915, which specifies that "[t]hose...who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin, are not to be admitted to Holy Communion."

"Nevertheless, Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, the most prominent Catholic clergyman in the United States and chairman of the task force on Catholic Bishops and Catholic Politicians, then declared that Cardinal Arinze had not really said what he said and he (Cardinal McCarrick) had 'not gotten to the stage where [he's] comfortable in denying the Eucharist.'

"There have been about 45,000,000 million abortions in the United States since Roe v. Wade was decided more than thirty years ago. That's approaching eight times the number of Jews slaughtered during the Holocaust.

"How many more unborn babies must die before Cardinal McCarrick achieves comfort?

"In 1995 then Archbishop of Newark McCarrick appeared comfortable with the concept of obeying canon law. He issued a soundly reasoned, elegantly written pastoral letter on penance. The kind of letter than indicated a promotion to Cardinal was in order.

"Cardinal McCarrick rightly wrote in that letter: 'We know that anyone who is aware of having committed a grave sin may not receive Holy Communion, even if he or she experiences deep contrition, without having first received absolution in the Sacrament of Penance. This is true unless the person has a grave reason for receiving Communion and there is no possibility of going to confession, a situation which does not apply in the area of the Archdiocese of Newark.'

"Significantly, Cardinal McCarrick faithfully noted in his letter that abortion is a 'grave' sin and a 'crime against innocent life.' He asserted, too generously, that '[w]e all recognize that it is a grave evil to take an innocent human life' and astutely observed that '[w]e tend to find excuses.'

"Sadly, Cardinal McCarrick has found an excuse for the sin of disregarding Canon 915 and knowingly giving Communion to pro-abortion nominally Catholic politicians: personal uncomfortableness."

That article concluded:

"Cardinal McCarrick and the rest of the clergy need to follow Christ and canon law, not to coddle the powerful nominally Catholic pro-abortion politicians.

"As [then] Archbishop Raymond L. Burke put it in his statement on Catholic Politicians and Bishops made on June 17, 2004: 'Right reason...tells us that a bishop, if he truly cares for the flock, must admonish Catholic politicians "who choose to depart from church teaching on the inviolability of human life in their public life" regarding "the consequences for their own spiritual well being, as well as the scandal they risk by leading others into serious sin' (Living the Gospel of Life, No. 32).' In addition, 'if the Catholic politician does not recognize the lack of the proper disposition to receive Communion, then the church herself must refuse the sacrament, in order to safeguard the worthy reception of the sacrament and to prevent a serious scandal among the faithful.'

"Because, in the words of Archbishop Burke: 'For a bishop or any pastor to exclude someone from Communion is always a source of great sorrow....What would be profoundly more sorrowful would be the failure of a bishop to call a soul to conversion, the failure to protect the flock from scandal and the failure to safeguard the worthy reception of Communion.'"

AMEN!

© Michael Gaynor

 

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

Click to enlarge

Michael Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member... (more)

Subscribe

Receive future articles by Michael Gaynor: Click here

More by this author

July 9, 2018
Librarian of Congress and Federal Court should respect America's Declaration of Independence as approved by Congress, instead of a revision de-emphasizing the importance of God


June 27, 2018
SCOTUS holds Trump travel ban to be constitutional; anti-Trumpers outraged


June 23, 2018
Would Cardinal McCarrick have followed canon law on distributing Holy Communion if he had not been a sexual abuser?


June 19, 2018
Should child neglect be overlooked when children are used as shields by parents entering the United States illegally?


June 6, 2018
The Constitution does not limit the presidential pardon power except in case of impeachment


May 7, 2018
President Trump, please turn the tables on Special Counsel Mueller by challenging him to subpoena you instead of letting him interview you


March 26, 2018
President Trump's choice of John Bolton as National Security Adviser is an unmistakable message to Kim Jung-Un


March 20, 2018
"Fruit of poison tree" protects President Trump as well as you and me


February 6, 2018
Poetic justice: Colluding with the Russians charge boomeranging on Trump persecutors as investigative abuse is uncovered


January 22, 2018
Will the Schumer shutdown lead to nuclear war with North Korea?


More articles