This is good, but the fundamental problem is with Catholics thinking that remaining within a political party that supports abortion as a civil right and attempting to dismiss this fact by pointing to conservative support for things like specific wars (or war in general) or the death penalty neutralizes the scandal involved in belonging to such a group is a moral option.
When will Church leaders tell Catholics that it's as wrong to belong to organizations that support the culture of death, most notably through support for the legal option to kill preborn babies, as it is to belong to a Masonic lodge?
And when will so-called Catholic politicians who support legal abortion be told, without equivocation, by all bishops (including the Holy Father) that, by supporting the culture of death, these so-called Catholic politicians are not in union with Rome, may not receive Holy Communion, and will be excommunicated if they persist in supporting legal abortion?
Archbishop Charles Chaput's history has troubled many of the faithful, and some of them have attempted to encourage the archbishop to exercise his duty to teach, govern, and sanctify by denying pro-abortion politicians (regardless of political affiliation) access to the Holy Eucharist.
Americans seem mesmerized by the word "change." And, by golly, they sure got it last week from the California Supreme Court. It is difficult to imagine a single social change greater than redefining marriage from opposite sex to include members of the same sex.
Nothing imaginable -- leftward or rightward -- would constitute as radical a change in the way society is structured as this redefining of marriage for the first time in history: Not another Prohibition, not government taking over all health care, not changing all public education to private schools, not America leaving the United Nations, not rescinding the income tax and replacing it with a consumption tax. Nothing.
Unless California voters amend the California Constitution or Congress amends the U.S. Constitution, four justices of the California Supreme Court will have changed American society more than any four individuals since Washington, Jefferson, Adams and Madison.
And what is particularly amazing is that virtually none of those who support this decision -- let alone the four compassionate justices -- acknowledge this. The mantra of the supporters of this sea change in society is that it's no big deal. Hey, it doesn't affect any heterosexuals' marriage, so what's the problem?
This lack of acknowledgment -- or even awareness -- of how society-changing is this redefinition of marriage is one reason the decision was made. To the four compassionate ones -- and their millions of compassionate supporters -- allowing same-sex marriage is nothing more than what courts did to end legal bans on interracial marriage. The justices and their supporters know not what they did. They think that all they did was extend a "right" that had been unfairly denied to gays.
Another reason for this decision is arrogance. First, the arrogance of four individuals to impose their understanding of what is right and wrong on the rest of society. And second is the arrogance of the four compassionate ones in assuming that all thinkers, theologians, philosophers, religions and moral systems in history were wrong, while they and their supporters have seen a moral light never seen before. Not a single religion or moral philosophical system -- East or West -- since antiquity ever defined marriage as between members of the same sex.
That is one reason the argument that this decision is the same as courts undoing legal bans on marriages between races is false. No major religion -- not Judaism, not Christianity, not Islam, not Buddhism -- ever banned interracial marriage. Some religions have banned marriages with members of other religions. But since these religions allowed anyone of any race to convert, i.e., become a member of that religion, the race or ethnicity of individuals never mattered with regard to marriage. American bans on interracial marriages were not supported by any major religious or moral system; those bans were immoral aberrations, no matter how many religious individuals may have supported them. Justices who overthrew bans on interracial marriages, therefore, had virtually every moral and religious value system since ancient times on their side. But justices who overthrow the ban on same-sex marriage have nothing other their hubris and their notions of compassion on their side.
The California Supreme Court has overturned a ban on gay marriage, paving the way for California to become the second state where gay and lesbian residents can marry.
The case involved a series of lawsuits seeking to overturn a voter- approved law that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
With the ruling, California could become the second state after Massachusetts where gay and lesbian residents can marry.
"What happens in California, either way, will have a huge impact around the nation. It will set the tone," said Geoffrey Kors, executive director of the gay rights group Equality California.
California already offers same-sex couples who register as domestic partners the same legal rights and responsibilities as married spouses, including the right to divorce and to sue for child support. It's therefore unclear what additional relief state lawmakers could offer short of marriage if the court renders the existing ban unconstitutional.
A coalition of religious and social conservative groups is attempting to put a measure on the November ballot that would enshrine California's current laws banning gay marriage in the state constitution.
The Secretary of State is expected to rule by the end of June whether the sponsors gathered enough signature to qualify the marriage amendment, similar to ones enacted in 26 other states.
This isn't really surprising. This is typical liberal activity, using courts to accomplish what can't be done by allowing people to vote on the matter. Hopefully, this will wake people up and provoke a movement to return to sanity that will include a reversal of this foolish decision, which essentially amounts to judicial legislation and circumvented the will of the majority of California voters.
Catholic Answers has an excellent article, titled, Gay Marriage, which is well researched and discusses in detail the various diseases and pathologies associated with homosexuality. The article gives many reasons why society, as a whole, should seek to protect marriage as a union between one man and one woman and not grant legal protections for homosexual unions, as such.
According to Card. Castrillion Hoyos, the Holy Father desires that the TLM be a normal part of parish life. He also says that priests should offer it in their parishes even if there is no specific request for it.
Darío Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos (born July 4, 1929) is a Colombian Cardinal of the Catholic Church. He was Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy from 1996 to 2006, and currently serves as President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei. Elevated to the cardinalate in 1998.
Liturgical renewal launched by the Second Vatican Council is an "irreversible path" and has not been affected by Pope Benedict XVI's concession on wider use of the Tridentine rite, a Vatican official said.
"The pope's decision has so far not produced any change in the celebrative practice of our ecclesial communities. His gesture was only one of service to unity," Archbishop Piero Marini, who arranged papal liturgies for more than 20 years, said in an interview April 25 in the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano.
"Therefore let's look ahead and let's continue with enthusiasm the path undertaken by the council," he said.
Late last year Archbishop Marini was named to head the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses.
The archbishop remains involved in international liturgical issues, and he said a revision of the committee's statutes is giving it wider authority over eucharistic congresses at the national and regional level, too.
Asked if Pope Benedict's relaxation of restrictions on the use of the pre-Vatican II liturgy signaled a halt to the liturgical reform movement, Archbishop Marini said that was clearly not the pope's aim.
The pope's decree "does not intend to introduce modifications on the current Roman Missal or express a negative judgment on the liturgical reform desired by the council," he said.
He said the decree, which reached out to disaffected Catholics, should be seen as an effort to maintain unity in the church.
Archbishop Marini said his own experience in organizing papal liturgies in more than 100 countries has convinced him that the liturgical reform movement has brought overwhelmingly positive results.
"Everywhere, the liturgy desired by the council was celebrated with lively participation and enthusiasm. Everyone understood the liturgy as proper to the local church and at the same time as an expression of the universal church," he said.
Those liturgies also demonstrated that liturgical reform has solid theological foundations, he said.
"Therefore this is an irreversible path," he said.
Liturgical celebration cannot be separated from the life of the church, the archbishop said, and this means "the church of today, not the church of yesterday or of tomorrow."
At the same time, Archbishop Marini said celebrating the liturgy according to Vatican II is not an easy thing. It takes patience, perseverance and pastoral charity, he said.
One particular issue that has emerged during papal trips, he said, is the fact that some Masses are now attended by hundreds of thousands of the faithful. That raises practical considerations like the number of concelebrants, the distribution of Communion and the level of personal participation, he said.
Pope Benedict has already asked for reconsideration of the role of concelebrants, and Archbishop Marini said it makes sense to look at the question through a serious study and with eventual pastoral-liturgical guidelines.
We'll see, Archbishop Marini. I suspect you're wrong, though. I certainly think it's wrong to claim that Summorum Pontificum was only issued in an effort to preserve unity and avoid schism. How does the allowance of a right Archbishop Marini clearly views as old and outdated alongside the Ordo Missae promulgated by Pope Paul VI signify a movement that preserves liturgical unity?
It's clear that the archbishop is not in agreement with Pope Benedict XVI with respect to the liturgy. That is probably why he's known as ex-papal liturgist, Archbishop Piero Marini.
A top Vatican official now says the Roman Catholic Church is weighing a further change to clean up the clergy: revising church law so predators could be more easily removed.
"It's possible," said Cardinal William Levada, head of the Vatican office that reviews abuse claims against priests worldwide.
"There are some things under consideration that I'm not able to say," Levada told reporters Friday, in a meeting at Time magazine's offices. A Vatican spokesman stressed Saturday that no immediate changes are planned.
It is the latest signal during Benedict's first papal visit to America that he is intent on purifying the priesthood as he affirms traditional Catholic practices and teaching.
My thoughts: Working to prevent men with homosexual tendencies from receiving the Sacrament of Holy Orders or entering religious life would be a great start!
Then he came to the disciples and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand." While he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a great crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, "The one I shall kiss is the man; seize him." And he came up to Jesus at once and said, "Hail, Master!" And he kissed him. Jesus said to him, "Friend, why are you here?" Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and seized him.(Matthew 26:45-50)
"Not every one who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' And then will I declare to them, `I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.'" (Matthew 7:21-23)
Catholic members of Congress who publicly support the right to abortion will trek to Nationals Park Thursday for a Mass celebrated by a pope who has said such lawmakers should not receive Communion.
Leading these lawmakers, some of whom have repeatedly complained about remarks by Pope Benedict XVI and a few bishops on the subject, will be House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the government's highest-ranking Catholic and a supporter of abortion rights. Nowhere in her remarks or her actions this week has she referred to strains with the new pontiff.
Instead, she bent to kiss his ring at the White House Wednesday as Benedict arrived in a blaze of pageantry, and later she spoke glowingly on the House floor about his commitment to truth, justice and freedom. A week before he arrived, the House passed a resolution welcoming him to Washington.
And yes, her spokesman said, she intends to receive Communion from one of the 300 priests and lay ministers who will offer it to the gathered flock of 45,000.
Benedict's stance on abortion and Communion has been painful for elected officials who inhabit the troubled zone where Catholicism and their political beliefs intersect.
Pelosi was one of 48 Catholic lawmakers—some who support and some who oppose abortion rights—who signed a letter in 2004 complaining about statements by "some members of the Catholic hierarchy."
"If Catholic legislators are scorned and held out for ridicule by Church leaders on the basis of a single issue, the Church will lose strong advocates on a wide range of issues that relate to the core of important Catholic social teaching," they wrote. "Moreover, criticism of us on a matter that is essentially one of personal morality will deter other Catholics from entering politics, and in the long run the Church will suffer."
None of the Catholic lawmakers interviewed Wednesday said they hesitated to attend Thursday's celebration of Mass. This event, they said, is about bigger themes and values, such as hope and compassion.
"Pope Benedict's historic visit is an important opportunity for Catholics and for all Americans to reflect on the ways we can contribute to the common good, address global issues of poverty, disease and despair," said Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., whose views in 2004 led several Midwestern bishops to say they would deny the Democratic presidential nominee Communion.
"In a nation and a world facing such extraordinary and daunting challenges, the pope's visit promises hope, inspiration and great wisdom," Kerry said in a statement.
These pro-abortion "Catholic" politicians are shameless and they don't seem to fear God's judgment. It's both upsetting and embarrassing.
1. Presenting oneself to receive Holy Communion should be a conscious decision, based on a reasoned judgment regarding one’s worthiness to do so, according to the Church’s objective criteria, asking such questions as: "Am I in full communion with the Catholic Church? Am I guilty of grave sin? Have I incurred a penalty (e.g. excommunication, interdict) that forbids me to receive Holy Communion? Have I prepared myself by fasting for at least an hour?" The practice of indiscriminately presenting oneself to receive Holy Communion, merely as a consequence of being present at Mass, is an abuse that must be corrected (cf. Instruction "Redemptionis Sacramentum," nos. 81, 83).
2. The Church teaches that abortion or euthanasia is a grave sin. The Encyclical Letter Evangelium vitae, with reference to judicial decisions or civil laws that authorize or promote abortion or euthanasia, states that there is a "grave and clear obligation to oppose them by conscientious objection. [...] In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it, or to 'take part in a propaganda campaign in favour of such a law or vote for it’" (no. 73). Christians have a "grave obligation of conscience not to cooperate formally in practices which, even if permitted by civil legislation, are contrary to God’s law. Indeed, from the moral standpoint, it is never licit to cooperate formally in evil. [...] This cooperation can never be justified either by invoking respect for the freedom of others or by appealing to the fact that civil law permits it or requires it" (no. 74).
3. Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.
4. Apart from an individual's judgment about his worthiness to present himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, the minister of Holy Communion may find himself in the situation where he must refuse to distribute Holy Communion to someone, such as in cases of a declared excommunication, a declared interdict, or an obstinate persistence in manifest grave sin (cf. can. 915).
5. 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.
6. 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" , 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.