Today’s Ottawa Citizen carried a hit piece on Archbishop Prendergast. Here is my commentary on sections of it.
Ottawa’s Catholic archbishop says he will refuse communion to any politician who “obstinately” supports access to abortion, but only if he or she cannot be persuaded to stand down.
No, actually he didn’t say that at all. He said that he would ask politicians who support abortion to refrain from receiving the Eucharist. That’s not the same thing as directly barring them from Communion. But what can you expect from the Main Stream Media? They have the subtleties of a rhinoceros in a china shop. This article by LifeSiteNews is much more balanced and nuanced.
“As a Jesuit principle, I have to put the best possible interpretation on my neighbour’s proposition, then speak to him about it, and only then draw the line and say, ‘Look, given your stubbornness on this position, I think you should not publicly receive communion until you change your mind’.”
Now look at what he said vs. what the reporter said above. Pathetic eh? (Side note: although that’s not what the Archbishop said, many of us want him to deny communion to pro-abort Catholics.)
Rosemary Ganley, coordinator of Catholics for a Free Choice Canada, said Archbishop Prendergast’s position is wrong in canon law, and wrong in a country like Canada where church and state are separate.
“There’s nothing in there saying he could deny communion to people who are pro-choice,” she said. “So even within the church’s own terms, he’s on very, very shaky ground.”
Why do reporters talk to people who have not a clue what they are talking about? Here is what canon law says:
“Those upon whom the penalty of excommunication or interdict has been imposed or declared, and others who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin, are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.” (Canon 915)
In other words, if you hold to a manifestly grave sin like abortion, you have no right under canon law to receive the Eucharist. In point of fact, the canon says that you are NOT TO BE ADMITTED to Holy Communion. Ms. Ganley has neither taken the time to understand the basic principles of Catholic morality nor even taken a few minutes to look up the canon law in question. Worse still is the reporter, Ms. Green, who can’t even find a credible opponent but must rely on ignorant shills for the abortion lobby.
“Catholic politicians are elected to represent all people, not just Catholics, so it’s very inappropriate for a church officials to meddle in the political process like this,” she said.
Get this through your head, Ms. Ganley, the Church is not meddling in political affairs. It is you who are presuming to speak for the State and are demanding the Church modify its own confessional and behavioural norms to accommodate the prevailing politically correct dogma on abortion. The Bishop has a right to apply the canon in question to his membership. And any individual member has the right to accept or reject his decrees – but not, of course, without consequences to the member. That’s what we call “freedom of association”. Ms. Ganley should direct her concerns to Mr. McGuinty directly and not the Archbishop. What happens between a private institution and one of its own members is not Ms. Ganley’s business or the State’s business. Separation of Church and State means that Ms. Ganley should not presume to dictate to the Archbishop what he can and cannot do within his own membership. No one is forcing Mr. Pro-Abort Politician to stay in the club.
Ottawa South Liberal MP David McGuinty is a Catholic and a brother of Ontario’s premier, who is also Catholic. Both are pro-choice, as are many Canadian politicians. He said the archbishop hasn’t been in contact with him, but if he does call, he’d be delighted to sit down and discuss the issue.
I don’t think he would be delighted after the conversation ended. Are these people on heavy drugs?
Mr. McGuinty said he comes from a long line of Catholic politicians who have been able to be pro-choice while remaining true to their religion.
Is this some kind of joke, Ms. Green? Just try and report on the story instead of making foolish and laughable claims. You cannot be true to Catholicism while at the same time supporting the killing of unborn children.
“At the end of the line, I would have to say, ‘Don’t pretend you’re in community with the Catholic Church, because that’s what communion is, a coming together.’ I think somebody has to come out and say that.”
Amen. Preach it, Bishop! At least somebody wants to point to the elephant in the room.
Ms. Ganley said all of these these incidents show her church’s failure to grasp the appropriate role it should be playing in public life.
“This kind of thing is eroding the church’s credibility,” she said. “It’s threatening, it’s damaging, and the church shouldn’t be playing politics.”
Are you for real, lady? Let me spell it out for you one more time. The Church does not play politics. Politicians play politics. The Church proclaims the Gospel. If a member of the Church does not proclaim the truth, and indeed proclaims the exact opposite of what the Church believes, then the officers of the Church (or any association for that matter) have the right to remove that member from the Church. This is a basic civil right that we have enjoyed in democracies for centuries. If the member wants to remain in the Church, he then can play all the politics he wants with the larger non-Catholic community. Should he change his views to conform to the Church’s beliefs, the public can keep him or they can turf him and the Church will accept their decision. But one thing is for certain, the State and Ms. Ganley should stay out of the business of dictating to an Archbishop what he can say or what he can do.