02 September 2009

The Funeral of Sen. Ted Kennedy

Raymond Arroyo of EWTN has written an excellent article on the scandal created by the funeral of Sen. Kennedy. Here is an excerpt but you should read the full article at EWTN,

First of all, it must be recalled that Cardinal McCarrick has a rather unfortunate history involving the delivery of letters, particularly those from a certain Vatican official by the name of Ratzinger. In 2004, when the Bishops of the US were anguishing over whether to allow communion to Catholic politicians who support abortion laws, Cardinal McCarrick concealed a letter from his brother bishops. The missive was from the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, then Cardinal (now Pope) Joseph Ratzinger. Had the bishops received the letter intended to help guide their debate, things might have gone very differently. The contents of that letter are still relevant, particularly now when dissenting Catholics have made grandiose pronouncements about what it means to be a Catholic in public life.

Regarding the grave sin of abortion or euthanasia, when a person’s formal cooperation becomes manifest (understood, in the case of a Catholic politician, as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws), his Pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the Church’s teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist.
 When "these precautionary measures have not had their effect or in which they were not possible," and the person in question, with obstinate persistence, still presents himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, "the minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it" (cf. Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts Declaration "Holy Communion and Divorced, Civilly Remarried Catholics" [2002], nos. 3-4). This decision, properly speaking, is not a sanction or a penalty. Nor is the minister of Holy Communion passing judgment on the person’s subjective guilt, but rather is reacting to the person’s public unworthiness to receive Holy Communion due to an objective situation of sin."

This last line is critical. “An objective situation of sin.” This I think is the reason that I have received hundreds of e-mails over the last few days from bewildered and scandalized Catholics. They take their faith seriously, and far from judging what Senator Kennedy may or may not have confessed in his final days, or whether he repented or not, they SAW an “objective situation of sin” in his voting record and in his public pronouncements. They also saw a fundamental incoherence between his professed Faith and some of the positions he championed

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