Sunday, January 21, 2007

On Abp. Wuerl and Queen-Granny Pelosi

I have maintained, here and elsewhere, that Abp. Wuerl's non-position-position on Speaker-ette Pelosi is, at best, not helpful.

Always happy to know that others have the same questions. First Things has a discussion and cites the USBishops' pastoral "On Preparing to Receive Christ Worthily in the Eucharist."

The statement says, among other things: “In order to receive Holy Communion we must be in communion with God and with the Church. . . . If a Catholic in his or her personal or professional life were knowingly and obstinately to reject the defined doctrines of the Church or knowingly and obstinately to repudiate her definitive teaching on moral issues, he or she would seriously diminish his or her communion with the Church. Reception of Holy Communion in such a situation would not accord with the nature of the eucharistic celebration, so that he or she should refrain.”

Voting for Federal funding of abortion, or for "partial-birth" abortion, certainly falls within the category of "...repudiat[ing]...definitive teaching on moral issues."

The statement goes on to address the question of public scandal. “To give scandal means more than to cause other people to be shocked or upset by what one does. Rather, one’s action leads someone else to sin.” The statement then quotes the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “Anyone who uses the power at his disposal in such a way that it leads others to do wrong becomes guilty of scandal and responsible for the evil that he has directly or indirectly encouraged.”

Here the Bishops' statement gets into levels of culpability. The definition of "scandal" given here would imply that such "scandal" is "mediate material cooperation," the definition of which follows:

Mediate Material Cooperation. Mediate material cooperation occurs when the cooperator participates in circumstances that are not essential to the commission of an action, such that the action could occur even without this cooperation. Mediate material cooperation in an immoral act might be justifiable under three basic conditions: [the term "might" is significant, because the presumption is against 'justifiable.']

[3] The danger of scandal (i.e., leading others into doing evil, leading others into error, or spreading confusion) must be avoided.

In other words, if "scandal" is not avoided, Mediate Material Cooperation is sinful.

(Back to First Things)

When the aforementioned Nancy Pelosi orchestrated a four-day gala in Washington celebrating her familial, ethnic, and—very explicitly—Catholic identity, people were alert to what would be said by the new archbishop of Washington, Donald Wuerl. He said nothing.

Also recently, Edward Cardinal Egan of New York gave a rare television interview in which he was persistently asked whether the pro-abortion position of Catholic politicians, notably Rudolph Giuliani and outgoing governor George Pataki, posed a problem for him. He just as persistently said he refused to be drawn into politics and answered, “They are my friends.” But of course he was making a statement of momentous political consequence, in that he seemed to be saying, as far as he is concerned, that the Church has no problem with pro-abortion politicians. It is understandable that Catholics and others have drawn the conclusion that, for both Wuerl and Egan, bishops of the two most prominent sees in the country, rejecting the Church’s teaching on the human dignity of the unborn child is not a big deal.

One would think that Bps. Egan and Wuerl are aware of the text in the letter "On Preparing to Receive..." which, after all, they signed.

Certainly appearances place Queen-Granny P in a very questionable position, when she voted FOR partial-birth abortion and regularly votes FOR abortion funding.

Is this a "big deal" or not, Excellencies?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

God help us this election season; For the most part, the bishops did NOTHING last time 'round and now they seem to be heading for an encore.

I suspect another round of long, useless, windbaggy USCCB deliberations (a.k.a. 'stalling') on the subject is coming soon...

(PS- blogger somehow 'ate' my last comment, so sorry if this shows up as a re-post..)