Cardinal Wuerl's Dereliction of Duty
George Neumayr writes at The American Spectator:
... The saints of old warned bishops to choose holiness and orthodoxy over the blandishments of the "world." Many bishops today in America choose the good opinion of worldly elites over orthodoxy. These cufflinked cardinals worry not about punishment in the next world but slights in this one. They desperately crave the approval of America's movers and shakers and live in dread fear of losing it.
What will the Pretty People think if I withhold Communion from powerful pro-abortion Catholic pols? Will the Washington Post editorialize against me? Will I lose my place of honor at posh parties? Will my dissenting priests think ill of me? Will I be scorned at the next USCCB meeting?
These are some of the thoughts that race through the minds of modern prelates. Out of these anxieties comes fiascoes like Cardinal Donald Wuerl's recent one. Wuerl and his surrogates have rebuked a visiting priest from the archdiocese of Moscow for denying Communion to a self-described practicing lesbian at a funeral mass. That's not our "policy," gasped Wuerl's horrified surrogates.
But it is the policy of the Roman Catholic Church. If a person is not in communion with the teachings of the Church, said person should not receive Communion. Period. Canon law makes this explicitly clear. If you don't believe me, ask the head of the Vatican Supreme Court, Cardinal Raymond Burke. Though most of his colleagues seem to ignore his stance, he has said for years that canon law places a grave burden on priests to protect the sacraments from defiant sinners. According to Burke, canon law is not a whimsical option for hardline eccentric priests but a moral duty which "obliges the minister of Holy Communion to refuse the Sacrament" to those in "manifest grave sin. "
This latest episode isn't even a close call. If Cardinal Wuerl doesn't have the guts to deny Communion to an agitprop lesbian Buddhist, he should just close up shop and hand the keys to his chancery over to Obama.
The choice that the Wuerls face is clear: either they take seriously the duty enshrined in canon law to protect the sacraments from sacrilege and scandal, or these Communion controversies will multiply without end.
The notion that bishops aren't gatekeepers would come as a surprise to the Church's first ones. The apostles were told by Jesus Christ that the good shepherd watches the gate, lest his flock be eaten. "Do not give what is holy to dogs," Jesus warned them.
The Church's position on whether a bishop should stop sacrilege and scandal is not determined by his "comfort" level, Cardinal Wuerl. It is determined by the clear requirements of canon law. Cardinal Burke has spoken; the case is closed. Either the bishops take control over their own sacraments or the Church's enemies will.
[Read the whole thing]
Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
Wuerl: Why I Won't Deny Pelosi Communion
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