Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Catholic "Fake News", Too!

The indispensable Prof. Ed Peters writes on Catholic "Fake News."

Fr. James Keenan writing in Crux this week makes his own a question raised (last July, it seems) by Rocco Buttiglione in L’Osservatore Romano: “Is there any contradiction between the popes who excommunicated divorced and remarried persons and Saint John Paul II who lifted that excommunication?” That’s fake canon law. John Paul II never lifted any excommunication against divorced and remarried Catholics because, quite simply, there was no excommunication against divorced and remarried Catholics for him to lift....

Umnhhh...yah.  The rest of the item is enlightening and, yes, Peters does mention the US-only 'excom' which was in effect for about 60 years--ended by Paul VI, not JPII.  But that's incidental, not significant.

1 comment:

GOR said...

There is a lot of confusion - even among Catholics – as to what ‘excommunication’ really means. In broad terms, excommunication can be latae sententiae (i.e. automatic) or ’ferendae sententiae” (resulting from a declaration of the competent authority).

However, there is another sense of ‘excommunication’ which is less obvious but can be understood, basically, as the former, viz.: If I am in mortal sin – for any reason - I may not receive Holy Communion. Thus I am effectively ‘excommunicated’ – something I have brought upon myself.

That doesn’t mean I cease to be a member of the Church. I am still obliged to attend Mass on Sundays, Holydays of Obligation and “contribute to the support of my pastors”. I can still avail of the Sacrament of Penance any time I am ready to fulfill the requirements for worthily availing of it. (“Contrition, Confession, Resolution to sin no more and Absolution”).

Accordingly, I suspect most people are ‘excommunicating themselves’ rather than being ‘cast out’ by an unfeeling Church.