Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Wuerl: Why I Won't Deny Pelosi Communion

I post this link without comment. Feel free, however, to form your own opinions on the basis thereof.

NOTE: If you wish to express a view in disagreement with Archbishop Wuerl, that is fine; but just remember that intemperate words about our Bishops - individually or collectively - are not tolerated here.

UPDATE (7 May)
Canon lawyer Ed Peters: "A response to Abp. Wuerl's claims that canon law supports his inaction in regard to Nancy Pelosi".

Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
Why Archbishop Wuerl Can No Longer Punt on Pro-Abort Politicos

Response of Archdiocese of Washington to Pro-Abort Senators Receiving Communion

Deal Hudson Asks: "Will Archbishop Wuerl Follow Cardinal Egan?"

CBS: Cardinal Egan "Rips" Giuliani For Taking Communion [UPDATED]

Novak Criticizes Cardinals for "Disobedience" in Giving Pro-Abort Catholics "a Pass" During Papal Visit

"Wafer Wars, Wedge Issues and the Pope’s Visit" [UPDATED]

Pro-Abort Catholic Politicians to Receive Communion at Papal Mass [UPDATED]

Archbishop Burke Preaches Tough Communion Rule

More on Archbishop Burke's Article on Canon 915 (Regarding Communion and Pro-Abort Politicos)

Archbishop Burke on Bad Catholics in Political Life

Archbishop Wuerl's Stand on Lawmakers Who Back Abortion Angers Some Conservative Catholics

Abortion and the New Archbishop - A Shot Across the Bow

Wuerl to be Installed Today - Mass in Washington, D.C., Will Mark His Debut as Archbishop

McCarrick's Successor Seen as Loyal, Diplomatic, "a Vote for Continuity"; Not Denying Communion has "Served Us Well" (15 links)

Pope Names Wuerl New Archbishop of Washington, DC

Bishop Wuerl's Name Surfaces for D.C.

The Final Word on Pro-Abort Pols and Communion?

Bishop Wuerl: Bishops Should Consult One Another Before Speaking On National Issues Like Kerry And Communion

Labels: , , , , , , ,


At 5/06/2009 2:16 PM, Blogger Ron said...

Hennenberger may have ties to the New York Times, but she makes mincemeat of the archbishop's claim that gentle persuasion is going to lead the likes of Nancy Pelosi back to the faith:

I tell him that in my own experience, that hasn't worked at all; no matter how mildly or respectfully expressed, my pro-life views only infuriate my fellow liberals, who literally can't hear me when I talk about abortion.

At 5/06/2009 2:20 PM, Anonymous paul zummo said...

For bishops, "there are two different approaches'' to bring Catholic politicians in line with Church teaching. "One is the pastoral, teaching mode, and the other is the canonical approach''I'm disappointed that our Archbishop, an otherwise perceptive man, doesn't realize that the canonical approach is or at least can be pastoral and teaching.

At 5/06/2009 3:23 PM, Blogger Rick said...

Acc. to Arch. Wuerl, "there's a question about whether this canon'' – the relevant church law – "was ever intended to be used'' to bring politicians to heel. He thinks not. "I stand with the great majority of American bishops and bishops around the world in saying this canon was never intended to be used this way.''

"The Church's law is very clear," said Archbishop Burke, who was appointed last year by Pope Benedict XVI as the head of the Church's highest court, the Apostolic Signatura. "The person who persists publicly in grave sin is to be denied Holy Communion, and it [Canon Law] doesn't say that the bishop shall decide this. It's an absolute."

Archbishop Burke has a lot of detailed analysis that I will compile and post at:

IMHO, Arch. Burke, head of the Church's highest court, the Apostolic Signatura, trumps Arch. Wuerl in matters of canon law. And I read his arguments; they made more sense that citing that a great majority thinking the other way.

At 5/06/2009 3:33 PM, Blogger Tito Edwards said...


I agree wholeheartedly. Archbishop Wuerl, in my opinion, really hates dealing with malcontents, especially if they emanate from the Democratic Party, which he is very partial to.

At 5/06/2009 3:34 PM, Blogger The Platonist said...

I honestly don't know if one approach is better than another in terms of getting people to agree with the Church. Tell Pelosi to not receive, and my suspicion is that she just quits going to Mass. Then you risk alienating Catholics who do not want to see the Eucharist used as a tool to coerce orthodoxy.

I do not think the Eucharist should be used as a tool for Orthodoxy. I do not think that Pelosi is doing the Church or Jesus Christ himself any harm by receiving Communion. No objective harm can be done by man to an omnipotent God. Even the worst desecration of the Eucharist does not hurt God. It might bring serious condemnation onto oneself, but it certainly could not hurt God.

This is why I think bishops are right in not worrying about denying any Catholic communion. My thought is that if one takes seriously the idea that Christ is present in the Eucharist, then it only makes sense to receive, even if one is in a state of sin. Christ is ultimately the one who brings forgiveness, so why not receive him?

I know what St. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 11. It is not clear to me, from the context, however, that "eating and drinking in an unworthy manner" means eating and drinking while one is mistaken in their beliefs. I don't think denying someone communion for being pro-choice is as simple as pointing to that passage.

Paul does say, however, that one should examine himself before taking communion. Ultimately, Nancy Pelosi is responsible for her own salvation. A bishop might tell her that she ought not receive Communion, but in the end I do not see how it should be anyone's decision but her own. If she eats and drinks unworthily, then that is between God and herself.

At 5/06/2009 3:37 PM, Blogger Paul, just this guy, you know? said...

I am fascinated that His Grace rejects the "canonical" approach on the grounds that he hasn't seen it work, but then embraces the "pastoral and teaching approach" without claiming to have seen that work either, although he's been using it for years, allegedly. I'd be curious to know on what occasions he's attempted to "teach" anything at all to Speaker Pelosi.

Clearly, it is not mortally sinful according the Catholic Church to support abortion rights.

At 5/06/2009 3:43 PM, Blogger Tito Edwards said...

Abp. Wuerl is clearly out of his league.

St. Ambrose publicly upbraided Emperor Theodosius for his massacre of 7,000 citizens and denied him communion until he repented.

That is what a SAINT did. Not the 'pastoral' effort done by Abp. Wuerl that has clearly never worked for him.

It may be why he has not received the red hat of a cardinal due to his lack of catechetical success.

At 5/06/2009 4:05 PM, Blogger DP said...

I like Henneberger's approach. I don't always agree with her, but she puts her cards on the table during the interview and asks the right questions. She's almost certainly to the left of me both politically and as a Catholic, but I like her work.

At 5/06/2009 10:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My understanding of Catholic doctrine regarding Communion is that we are not to receive while in a state of mortal sin.

Is not supporting, encouraging and promoting abortion, publicly or privately, against the doctrine of the Church and, therefore, a mortal sin?

At 5/07/2009 10:22 AM, Blogger Michael R. Denton said...

I respectfully disagree with the archbishop.

Wuerl mentions not thinking that the canonical approach is effective. I would point him to the example of Archbishop Joseph Rummel of New Orleans. In 1952, Rummel wrote a letter denouncing racism and segregation and resolved to integrate the schools. In response, a lay group was formed to oppose Rummel, including lobbying the state legislature to discontinue funding (LA pays for textbooks) to Catholic schools in an attempt to cripple Rummel's efforts. He continued to teach against segregation and make efforts to prepare for integration until in 1963 he had enough and excommunicated all the leaders of the lay group, including powerful LA boss Judge Leander Perez.

All of them would eventually recant their racism and be welcomed back into the Church.

Excommunication and other canonical penalties should not be the first resort, but they are necessary and effective tools available to bishops to shepherd the flock.

At 5/19/2009 2:05 PM, Blogger Atlantic America said...

When a sacrilegious bishop dies, God does not spare that bishop of "intemperate words." When it comes time to convert a bishop from his state of spiritual death, God does not spare the bishop of the truth of his hideousness. Admonishing the sinner, be he bishop or layman, is an act of mercy, no matter how intemperate the words may superficially appear. Cowtowing to such a bishop is no act of mercy of any kind, especially when it is a bishop well known for vicious behavior toward his parishioners, including that which was extended to a whistle blower who reported one of the bishop's former personal secretaries, for long-term homosexual predatory conduct.

At this point, one needs to keep in mind the one theological reality at hand. That is this: Due to the nature (supernature) of the Eucharist, one cannot receive this sacrament while being aware of unrepentent mortal sin without incurring yet another mortal sin in the receiving thereof. Every priest has the moral obligation to prevent Christ from being literally molested in this way --- or in any way. There is no alternative. There is no debate. In as much, that which must be addressed is Wuerl's reason for not denying Pelosi the reception of a consecrated host, thereby allowing himself to be an accomplice to one of the forms of eucharistic sacrilege.

Wuerl's reasons:

1] A remotely possible retaliatory act by the Pelosi camp, consisting in the attempt to have the
Catholic Church's tax exempt status revoked --- or perhaps only that of the Archdiocese of D.C.

2] A possible retaliatory congressional act, consisting in taxpayer-funded government contract
social service work being suddenly denied to religious institutions.

In these scenarios, the sin of cowardice, the sin of distrust, and the vice of avarice needs to be realized.

Concerning possibility #1, keep in mind that LBJ, while a Texas Senator, got passed the law which revokes a religion's tax exempt status if the religion publicly supports or opposes a candidate for elective office. A person with the reflex toward cowardice would immediately fear that someone in the Pelosi camp would attempt to have the denial of communion construed as a publicly stated opposition of the candidate Pelosi.

This problem can be easily solved by having congress revoke the LBJ tax exemption law, being that the law is extremely Hitleresque. In fact, the law was nothing more than Johnson's re-election ploy, solely intended to defeat the Dudley Dougherty who had religions post billboards across Texas in support for him.

Even if the LBJ Tax Law would be repealed, there is consideration #2 --- that Pelosi, Dodd, and company would deny religions the opportunity to gain taxpayer money via social service contract work and the such. Well, this has now become a moot point, being that Pelosi just experienced a political fall from grace, in having been caught allegedly or apparently lying about her knowledge of and acquiessence to water boarding and other forms of torture.

Wuerl had the golden opportunity to look like a prophetic hero, being that Pelosi was destined for a political fall from grace. In fact, Wuerl could have been regarded as a lion, if he were to have taken a St. Paul-like stance against the aging Italian grandmother, Nancy Pelosi. However, Wuerl will now be regarded as a snake, especially during this time span, being that it has already been documented that he:

1] was the bishop in caught performing a triple cover-up, involving priests named Wolk, Zula, and
Pucci --- whose crimes even included sadism;

2] was caught trying to cover-up the sexual crimes of a fourth priest, named Huff, by sending him to
St. Louis, then to downtown Pittsburgh, and then to St. Louis again, in a musical chairs game;

3] was found to have had a personal secretary who was a predatory and retaliatory homosexual
priest, whose antics are outlined in United States Supreme Court Petition for a Writ of Certiorari,
# 01-10392, dated 2002.

4] had a priest in good standing, previously reported to Wuerl yet permitted to associate with
youths, who became the intoxicant provider in the death of Pitt Wide Receiver, Billy Gaines, in

5] was also found to have been permitting "several priests" with "credible sexual abuse allegations"
to remain in active ministry, until the media exposed the corruption of America's bishops in 2002.

If the public sees a person passionately believing in the true presence, even to the point of denying Pelosi communion, that would inspire faith in others. None the less, a tree is known by its fruits. A good tree cannot yield bad fruits, and a bad tree cannot produce good fruits. If a person reviews Wuerl's track record in Pittsburgh, one would see that his refusal to defend Christ in the Eucharist was inevitable. A person who receives a prophet receives a prophet's wages. A person who defends a false prophet gets the false prophet's destiny which, incidentally, includes the intemperate words of those demons who make wolves look like boy scouts. See:


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

hit counter for blogger