ELEISON COMMENTS DCCLI (4 December, 2021) : SACRILEGIOUS POLITICIANS
At the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) 2021 Fall General Assembly held in Baltimore, November 15-18, they were due to consider the application of Canon 915 of the (1983) Code of Canon Law which says : “Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty, and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin, are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.” Prior to the Bishops’ Assembly, the American Cardinal Raymond Burke made a Declaration, the main points of which are summarised here below –
“The Bishops will address the long-term and gravely scandalous situation of Catholic politicians who persist in supporting and advancing policies such as abortion in grievous violation of the most fundamental precepts of the moral law, while, at the same time, claiming to be devout Catholics, especially by presenting themselves to receive Holy Communion. This is a critical matter – a matter of life and death for the unborn, and of eternal salvation for the Catholic politicians involved.
There is a common refrain that what is needed is more “dialogue” with the Catholic politicians and legislators in question. However, the teaching of the natural law, which necessarily is also the teaching of the Church, is beyond discussion. The practice of abortion is a most grievous violation of the first precept of the natural law, which safeguards the inviolability of innocent and defenceless human life. There is nothing about which to dialogue. The subject of dialogue must be how best to prevent such an evil in society. Such prevention can never involve the actual promotion of the evil.
Pastoral action taken against politicians has nothing to do with “interfering in politics.” It is directed to the safeguarding of the sanctity of the Holy Eucharist and to the salvation of the souls of the Catholic politicians in question and to the prevention of the serious scandal caused by them. They are not only sinning gravely against the Fifth Commandment but they are also committing sacrilege by receiving unworthily Holy Communion.
The grave scandal caused by such Catholic politicians has contributed in a significant way to the consolidation of a culture of death in the United States, where procured abortion is simply a fact of daily life. The Catholic Church’s witness to the beauty and goodness of human life, from its first moment of existence, and the truth of its inviolability, has been grievously compromised. The USCCB had previously discussed the issue in June 2004. Some of the most influential Bishops desired to avoid any intervention with Catholic politicians who, according to the discipline of Canon 915, should not be admitted to receiving Holy Communion. The matter was remanded to a Task Force on Catholic Bishops and Catholic Politicians under the chairmanship of the then Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. With time, the Task Force was forgotten, and the critical issue was left unaddressed by the Conference of Bishops.
While the true Church of Christ is totally opposed to the attack on innocent and defenceless human life, the Catholic Church in the United States seems to accept the abhorrent practice, in accord with a totally secularized view of human life and sexuality. Pray for the Church in the United States and in every nation, that it will be uncompromising in applying Canon 915 and that it will defend the sanctity of the Holy Eucharist, and safeguard Catholic politicians’ souls, because if they support abortion and still present themselves to receive Holy Communion, then they commit sacrilege and serious scandal.” Catholic Politicians and Non-Admittance to Holy Communion
What God condemns, politicians may not approve.
Eternal Law not even they can move.