Sunday, June 18, 2006

Zero Tolerance?


On the issue of communion, [McCarrick] said there was "no substitute for the local bishop's pastoral judgment and his vital relationships with Catholic public officials in his own diocese."

Yes, the bishop's pastoral judgment is the final arbiter of a catholic politician committing sacrilege at Mass, and giving scandal to the Church while in office. Let's just juxtapose this upon another situation...

On the issue of communion, [McCarrick] said there was "no substitute for the local bishop's pastoral judgment and his vital relationships with sex-offending priests in his own diocese."

Doesn't have the same cachet, eh? Now I would posit that defending the Faith is just as vital and important as protecting children from molesters, so why not paint a similar situation with politicians? First, from Article 5, Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People:

Diocesan/eparchial policy is to provide that for even a single act of sexual abuse of a minor*—whenever it occurred—which is admitted or established after an appropriate process in accord with canon law, the offending priest or deacon is to be permanently removed from ministry and, if warranted, dismissed from the clerical state..

The diocesan/eparchial bishop is to exercise his power of governance, within the parameters of the universal law of the Church, to ensure that any priest or deacon subject to his governance who has committed even one act of sexual abuse of a minor as described below shall not continue in ministry.

Let's change some of the language, shall we:

Diocesan/eparchial policy is to provide that for even a single act of voting for or proposing legislation contrary to Catholic Teaching—whenever it occurred—which is admitted or established after an appropriate process in accord with canon law, the offending politician is to be Latae Sententiae under particular personal interdict and, if warranted, excommunicated..

The diocesan/eparchial bishop is to exercise his power of governance, within the parameters of the universal law of the Church, to ensure that any politician subject to his governance who has committed even one act of voting for or proposing legislation contrary to Catholic Teaching, as described below, shall neither continue to give scandal the the Church nor commit sacrilege against the Blessed Sacrament.

Ouch. Tough stuff, eh? Well, if violating the doctinal purity and discipline of the Church were viewed as grave as the abuse of minors, there would be more outcry to make politicians who claim to be Catholic actually behave so. But why would we want that? It's obvious that to be a successful politician, you need to worship the will of the people.

McCarrick said the church needs "more, not fewer Catholics in political life" and said that after one of the most challenging duties in his 30 years as a bishop, the task force was now disbanding its work.

Your Eminence, we still need them to be Catholic, and being Catholic entails being in full communion with Rome.

5 comments:

Doogie said...

That comparison is interesting. Look at the PR side of this too; the world expects a hard line against predators, but also expects extreme tolerance of dissent. Can they have it both ways?

The other perspective would be that priests have a direct ordination which they are betraying and causing scandal to all the faithful. Politicians are accountable to a lesser degree, as are all of the baptized, but they can still cause scandal.

The disloyal politican causes scandal by demeaning the norms of the faith. The predatory priest causes scandal also by demeaning the norms of the faith, but moreso by causing direct harm to an individual.

So this may be an apples/oranges thing. I know that it's easy for us, like Jonah, to long for God to rain down fire & brimstone on the godless.

When it all comes down to it, I feel the direction the bishops are going is the correct one, but it requires a real sincere effort on their part to privately talk to the politicians causing the scandal.

That's where the fault has lain from the get-go with this problem. The shepherds are too busy playing canasta.

O for a prophet to cry "Wolf!"

St. Jimbob of the Apokalypse said...

Doogie,

Thanks for stopping by. I'm not praying for Divine Retribution, I'm looking for firm episcopal guidance and discipline. There may be others that read this that may want fire and brimstone in L.A., or Boston, or Orange County, CA, but not I. I'd love to see ABp. O'Malley inform Senators Kennedy and Kerry that the positions they take are contrary to Catholic doctrine, consist of mortal sins, and make them unworthy for Communion until they privately or publicly repent and start upholding Catholic teaching.[inhale]

I just want our Church to start reminding people that our duty to God outwieghs our personal feelings on various issues. Let the others become Episcopalians if they want, but lets try to publicly project a coherent creed.

If I wanted sulphur and brimstone, I would post some Jonathan Edwards' sermons., or let Caveman rant at them. Which is worse, I'll let you decide.

Doogie said...

I couldn't agree with you more. What irks me about this decision is that they basically told themselves to do what they're supposed to do, but it remains to be seen if they'll actually do it.

Oh, yeah, and Jonathan Edwards' sermons would likely be worse: I understand he was quite monotone when he spoke, but people still quaked in their pews. Caveman's got nothing on that.

Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

or let Caveman rant at them. Which is worse, I'll let you decide.

"Worse"? And I rate right up there with some heresy spewing prot?

Thanks a lot, Jimbob

St. Jimbob of the Apokalypse said...

Aww, shucks, Cavey, that was a compliment to your inimitable, and inimicable style ;-) I'd pay good money to watch you wag your club at some of those bishops.