Excommunication Or Not
That is the Question

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9 Responses

  1. Faak Naam says:

    I am adamantly pro-life, it’s no negotiable to me. But the Catholic Church has a 2 millennia history of accepting all sorts of evil without excommunicating persons who practiced moral evils. Did the church excommunicate slave owners? Mafiosi? Supporters of a president who serially and habitually commits adultery and is proud of it? Did the church deal with priests who committed the evil act of pedophilia? It just seems hypocritical to select a woman for excommunication for evil acts when they’ve allowed Mafia hitmen to receive communion hours after they peddled prostitutes and killed enemies in cold blood, and sanctified a woman who bought and sold slaves to earn money to support her convent. Maybe we all need to get the plank out of our own eyes before we condemn the splinter in someone else’s.

    • Birgit J says:

      While you make some valid points, please read the conclusion of the article. The laity is not equipped to make this type of decision nor is that their right. We also don’t know if sinners haven’t already excommunicated themselves. Even the measure of excommunication, itself, is medicinal not punative. It is intended to heal the sinner and bring him back to the flock. Jesus wants all of His lambs to come home – each and every single one.

      Sadly, sin will remain with us, even on the highest levels of Church and state because of pride, thirst for power, and our own free will. Poor decisions are made and we don’t usually have the satisfaction of determining what results from their commission.

      • Faak Naam says:

        “Laity is not equipped” is always the cop-out that the Church uses to avoid telling us the real reason they do or don’t do something. I remember the sisters telling me in CCD, “The priests are imbued with knowledge the laity can never have,” whenever they couldn’t answer a simple question like, “Why is it a sin to gamble but ok to play bingo at the church?”

        Birgit, I respect you as a sister in Christ, but your answer shows that you are unwilling to put even simple matters like the hypocrisy of the Vatican to critical thinking. We aren’t just pew-fillers or supernumeraries in our own spiritual lives. Sometimes the Church does owe us an explanation, and if they choose to excommunicate only the Democrats for failing to speak against abortion, why aren’t they making the same threats against the many outspoken Republicans that are doing the same thing? This is more political than spiritual. This threat isn’t supposed to save Pelosi’s soul, it’s supposed to manipulate we Catholics into disregarding everything she says and does because she’s a woman and she’s not pro-life. I don’t like her, and I don’t support her, and I’ve often publicly spoken out against her, but to threaten her soul with excommunication while letting numerous Republican politicians skate without consequence over the issue of abortion is the epitome of hypocrisy. Poor decisions, major ones, get made and we don’t have the satisfaction of determining what results from their commission, but that should make us mad, give us reason to question the workings of the leadership, make us demand answers, and good ones, not nonsense like, “Ours is not to reason why” like we were taught.

        • Birgit J says:

          Excommunication comes under the authority of the local bishop. I’m not sure how the Vatican got into this particular conversation, since it was never mentioned in the article. However,I assure you, I most likely share many similar thoughts on the subject. As for your other assumptions about my ability of critical thinking, just a few thoughts:

          1) The Catholic Church is built on hierarchy. It is not lay led. Therefore, I question exactly what you propose we, the people in the pew, do about any errors – other than what was proposed in the last section of the article. May I advise a reread?

          2) “The Church owes us an explanation.” While I agree that an explanation would certainly help to allay many fears and objections, I question our right to this satisfaction. I add, further, that some Church remedies are internal. We really aren’t privy to every punishment doled out, nor do we have a right to this knowledge. Just as in the confessional, some things are between sinner and clergy. Remember that most of these politicians receive private letters and have private meetings with their shepherds before any of us even hear about it. That is as it should be. These things only become public when private measures have failed and the sinner persists and doubles down on their sin.

          3) Your question about the hypocrisy of addressing democrats and not republicans can easily be answered. The most egregious PUBLIC sinners are democrat. Nancy Pelosi and Andrew Cuomo, in particular, are in the news promoting abortion up to birth and more on a daily basis. As the article points out, PUBLIC sin must eventually be corrected PUBLICLY. This is because of the public scandal it causes. As these leaders promote and celebrate sin in such a public manner, they influence many people and lead them in the wrong direction. Remember the scripture quote about leading others astray and the millstone?

          On the other hand, the leaders who are republican do their voting and other deeds in a much more quiet manner. They don’t trumpet their intentions and then celebrate their successful sins. This means that their priests and bishops speak and write to them privately. If there is any censure, that is also private. The public has no right to this internal remedial action.

          4) I do agree that the Church in America has become political. With that said, I’d like to point out that the bishops overwhelmingly align themselves with the liberal line of the democrats. Even Bernardin’s Seamless Garment was a move used to bend in that direction. This has served to weaken the pro-life position because it makes all things are equal – abortion, death penalty, immigration, poverty, capitalism, and even gun control. So now we have Catholics who believe that saving the unborn and the quest for socialism or gun control are all to be weighed equally. It’s an outright permission to vote for a pro-abortion candidate because you like their position on a topic of lesser real moral weight. Through this way of thinking, if I like someone because of their stance on gun control, I can vote for them even though they are pro-abortion. This brought us Obama and almost Hillary.

          The main takeaway is that we are definitely entitled to being angry with the goings on in the Church. As a matter of fact, we should be. We have every right to pray about it, educate ourselves, and to respectfully ask for answers. Our local priests and bishops should be our first trajectory. Get organized with other concerned Catholics. Write letters. Make appointments. And continue to pray for discernment and wisdom. What we don’t have a right to is inclusion in the internal workings of the hierarchy. We are not the pope, cardinals, bishops, or priests. There is a chain of command in the Church. Jesus is the Head. He is the One we should all turn to for clarity. He has the final say. Just as our lives in general. We just don’t have that much sway.

          BTW, this news came in recently, so there is movement among the bishops.Bishop Daly Bars ALL Pro-Abortion Catholic Politicians From Receiving Communion

          http://www.complicitclergy.com/2019/02/01/bishop-daly-bars-all-pro-abortion-catholic-politicians-from-communion/ 

        • Birgit J says:

          “Sometimes the Church does owe us an explanation.” As a layman, what would you propose as the solution? Is there a tangible answer?

          • Faak Naam says:

            The church I attended before I moved away had a priest that committed adultery for years with a married woman in the congregation, the bishop and archbishop knew it was going on and merely counseled the priest to confess and do penance. The congregation was never told what was going on. Every week we were being served communion prepared by a man with filthy hands, for years. It only came out when the local newspaper and the largest congregation in the dioceses demanded the names of priests who were accused of sex crimes. His particulars were inadvertently included in the list. At first we all thought it was a mistake. Then he stood in the pulpit and told us it was none of our business. The woman was asked to leave the congregation by the bishop, but the priest was allowed to stay until the congregants demanded he be removed. He was sent to another church. For years he was sullying the elements with adulterous hands, but the Church didn’t think there was anything wrong with that. What right does the Church have to excommunicate a politician but embrace sinning priests who won’t repent?

          • Birgit J says:

            That is just a horrible thing for you to experience! Keep in mind, that Jesus left us with the assurance that even a sinful priest can convect the Eucharist. His sins only affect his own immortal soul. Jesus still comes to us – Body Blood Soul and Divinity. Hopefully you can find comfort in that. On the other hand, there’s no excuse for what happened. All I can say is corruption in humanity has always been and remains with us now. Shame on everyone involved.

  2. Faak Naam says:

    Yes, there is a tangible answer. That is to excommunicate everyone who supports abortion, not just the woman, not just the Democrat, no matter how much they give to the church in the offering plate every Sunday morning or how powerful they make the Church feel. Is it wrong to ask the Church to be consistent?

    Respectfully requesting answers from a Church that remains silent or tells us it’s none of our business is a waste of time. If we want answers about the pedophile cases, the hypocrisy, the lack of action, we need to demand answers and action and refuse to put a single penny in the offering until we get them. It’s a very materialistic church and without our money, it won’t be able to last long without us. If the leadership has failed at holiness, it’s our job to get them back on the straight and narrow way. Do you want to stand in front of God some day and say, “I did nothing because I was told I didn’t have the right to do something.”

    And if you think Trump is better than Obama because he promised to end abortion, I ask you this: Can a serial adulterer who proudly sexually assaults women and brags about it really God’s man in the White House? Do you really think a man who has been the husband of one wife, a faithful father raising his own children to grow up to be decent human beings, who does humanitarian work in his retirement is inherently evil because he’s a Democrat but a man who rejects every Godly thing is holy because he’s a Republican? If so, I have to wonder how your bishop justifies this thinking, since it’s neither Biblical or adherent to the traditions of the Church. Shame on your bishop. It’s time to stop supporting an organization that openly suborns sin and makes it seem holy. Seems like the last days are upon us and the Church is as corrupt as the Bible said it would be at the end.

    • Birgit Jones says:

      Firstly, I have to ask if you even read the article. You are speaking about Nancy Pelosi and not Cuomo who is the real subject. Secondly, your answer is not tangible. This can be known by simply asking one question – are you going to excommunicate everyone? Because otherwise you are just making a suggestion that will fall on deaf ears.

      Further, it is clear by your comments that you do not know much about canon law. The article thoroughly quotes both Canon law and Canon lawyers. I would like to invite you to read it. It is not up to the laity to change Church law. Yet that seems what you desire to do.

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