Canon Fire: Burke vs. Wuerl
WHOSE VIEWPOINT WILL PREVAIL?
In his guest column “On ‘Politicizing’ the Eucharist” (Dec.), Fr. Regis Scanlon explains the wisdom of canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law, which reads, “Those who are excommunicated…and others who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.” The argument over the canon’s application is not going to go away soon. Recent events, however, have significantly affected the prospects for applying this canon to pro-abortion politicians in the U.S.
In May 2007, as he was traveling to Brazil on his first papal trip outside Europe, Pope Benedict XVI told an inquiring reporter that he would support Mexican bishops who, with recourse to canon 915, excommunicate pro-abortion lawmakers in their country. “It is part of the code,” Benedict said. “It is based simply on the principle that the killing of an innocent human child is incompatible with going in communion with the body of Christ.”
Within hours, a reporter from The Hill, a congressional newspaper in Washington, D.C., asked Patrick Leahy, a Democratic senator from Vermont, to comment on the Pope’s statement. Leahy’s reply was blunt: “I’ve always thought that those bishops and archbishops who for decades hid pederasts and are now being protected by the Vatican should be indicted.” Leahy, a Catholic, has served as chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary since January 2007, a position he holds to this day. Did his searing remark play a quiet role in a recent Vatican re-assignment?
Enjoyed reading this?
READ MORE! REGISTER TODAYSUBSCRIBE
You May Also Enjoy
Oscar Andres Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga has opined, "I'm firmly convinced we are at the dawn of a new era in the Church, just as when Pope John XXIII opened its windows 50 years ago and made it let in fresh air."
The Pope hurls one anathema after the next. Each time he speaks, each time he gives an interview, he seems to have a fresh target — and many are members of the Catholic Church.
On the question of how to accommodate second marriages in the Church, most of the key players in the debate, for now, happen to be German bishops and cardinals.