Pro-life efforts hamstrung by episcopal cowardice January 25, 2013Posted by tantamergo in abdication of duty, Abortion, Basics, contraception, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, secularism, Society.
Phil Lawler lines up his shot, approaches the tee, and knocks it 500 yds to the green on a Par 5 (I add emphasis and comments):
Pro-lifers have been fighting the political battle against abortion for 40 years, and still the bloodshed continues. Perhaps it is time to recognize that the culture of death is one of those evils that “cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”
Yes, certainly we should fast and pray. It’s appropriate to use spiritual weapons in spiritual combat……….
But there is one powerful tool that has not yet been put to use in the pro-life struggle, and one group of people who have not yet done what they can do for the cause. I refer to the American Catholic bishops, and the use of ecclesiastical discipline.
Forty years after Roe there remain dozens of prominent politicians who identify themselves as Catholics, but actively promote the culture of death. These “pro-choice Catholics” are a source of confusion to the public and scandal to the Church. [Indeed. Aside from allowing homosexual depravity, even to the point of many legally proven cases of rape of minors, to run rampant in the priesthood for decades, there is no bigger scandal the bishops have collectively CAUSED - not permitted, but caused - through their failure to implement ecclesiastical discipline. In point of fact, bishops refuse to do so because they fear the consequences, which could lead to the loss of the precious tax exempt status, or some other retribution. Or, it could be, because they really just don't care very much. I mean, sure, if it would take no effort and cost them little or nothing, they'd love to see abortion go away, but when it comes to really trying, to the point of making it hurt.....forget about it. But, then again, I'm the kind of Catholic who would love to go to Heaven without trying very hard. So it's easy for me to say.]
The US Catholic bishops have issued many fine statements on the evils of abortion and the dignity of human life. But statements are one thing, actions another; and when one’s actions do not match one’s public pronouncements, those statements lose value. The bishops have warned that Catholic politicians who promote abortion are separating themselves from the communion of the Church. But they have not followed up, as necessary, by taking disciplinary action against those politicians who have not heeded their warning.
If a Catholic in his diocese is promoting abortion, a Catholic bishop has a solemn obligation to take three steps:
First, admonition. The bishop should call the erring politician to a private meeting, rebuke him, and warn him that he is putting his soul in jeopardy.
Second, denunciation. If the politician remains obstinate, the bishop should make his rebuke public, letting the world know that the Church views the politician’s actions as gravely wrong. A specific public statement, naming names, is necessary to address a public scandal, and to counteract the widespread impression that abortion is only one of many issues in which the Church takes an interest.
Third, exclusion from Communion. The Code of Canon Law (#915) instructs clerics to protect the Eucharist from scandal, by refusing to administer the sacrament to those who “obstinately persist in manifest grave sin.” The enforcement of Canon 915 is not optional; it is a moral obligation. Yet the American bishops have chosen to ignore that obligation. [And this is the key point. Enforcement of ecclesiastical duty isn't an option; it's A DUTY! It's not just about the perpetuation of the nightmare of abortion, the greatest moral evil this country has ever known. It's not just about saving the souls of the politicians in question by trying to shock them back into piety. It's about protecting the millions of other souls from scandal of epic proportions! It's about confirming to the faithful that the things you preach about on Sunday are operative and imperative ALL the time, not causing doubt because the actions don't match the rhetoric! Without action, it's just so many words. And words, as they say, are cheap.]
As long as our bishops are not doing all that they can do (and only they can do), the American pro-life movement is not doing its utmost to fight for an end to abortion.
I’ll go even farther. So long as the bishops fail to perform their solemn duty – and I don’t care what stupid, secret, backroom-deal policy the USCCB has – abortion will never go away. That includes PREACHING regularly againt the sin of contraceptive use on an ongoing basis, and taking action against those Catholics who continually apostasize publicly and work totally against what the Church knows to be true. I would add further that there should be very serious meetings with the priests in every deanery where expectations will be handed down relative to what is counseled in the Confessional regarding contraception. So that the faithful won’t hear things like “you’ve had 4 kids, that’s enough, you can use contraception if you want,” as my wife did.
This is one of the foremost topics of prayer for me. I’m afraid it will continue to be such for some time.