Saturday, September 6, 2008

Pelosi's Bishop Responds to Her Obstinate Heresy

Archbishop George H. Niederauer of San Francisco has come out with a response to Pelosi's continued jackassery re: the Church's teaching on abortion. He issued a statement in his diocesan newspaper about it. There's a lot of good points there.

Speaker Pelosi’s remarks called forth many responses, from Catholics in the pews as well as from bishops. As a result, on Tuesday, August 26th, two days after "Meet the Press" had aired, the Speaker’s office issued a statement on her behalf. It contained this sentence: "While Catholic teaching is clear that life begins at conception, many Catholics do not ascribe[sic] to that view." That statement suggests that morality can be decided by poll, by numbers. If ninety percent of Catholics subscribe to the view that human life begins at conception, does that makes Church teaching truer than if only seventy percent or fifty percent agree?

All you sensus fidelium folk (like you, McBrien), take note of His Excellency's words here.

After a bit of reflection on the USCCB document about political life and denial of the Eucharist, he finally starts getting to the meat and potatoes:

Nevertheless, the bishops go on to say: "If a Catholic in his or her personal or professional life were knowingly and obstinately to reject the defined doctrines of the Church, or knowingly and obstinately repudiate her definitive teachings on moral issues, however, he or she would seriously diminish his or her communion with the Church. Reception of Holy Communion in such a situation would not accord with the nature of the Eucharistic celebration, so that he or she should refrain." Why is this repudiation of Church teaching such a serious matter? The bishops respond: "To give selective assent to the teachings of the Church deprives us of her life-giving message, but also seriously endangers our communion with her."

Not to mention that the soul in question would be compounding their sin by partaking.

This teaching of the bishops does not violate the separation of church and state. That separation does not require a division between faith and public action, between moral principles and political choices. Believers and religious groups may practice their faith and act on their values in public life, and have done so throughout the history of this country. In his or her conscience, properly formed, a Catholic should recognize that making legal an evil action, such as abortion, is itself wrong.

Pardon me, but should we even give a crap? The Church cannot support separation of Church and state. Tolerate it, maybe. Support it? Never. Even Dignitatis Humanae is clear that the state must be governed by the principles of the "objective moral order." Who can be trusted to discern this objective order? Only the Church. It is therefore impossible for the Church to encourage separation of Her from the state.

This next part is when things get a little weird. His Excellency quotes again from the aforementioned USCCB document:

Some Catholics may not fully understand the Church’s doctrinal and moral teachings on certain issues. They may have certain questions and even uncertainties. In situations of honest doubt and confusion, they are welcome to partake of Holy Communion, as long as they are striving to understand what the Church professes and to resolve confusion and doubt.

Expounding on this point, he comes to his vehicle for resolution.

Speaker Pelosi has often said how highly she values her Catholic faith, and how much it is a source of joy for her. Accordingly, as her pastor, I am writing to invite her into a conversation with me about these matters. It is my obligation to teach forthrightly and to shepherd caringly, and that is my intent.

Archbishop Niederauer is in a bad situation. He's got the third most powerful person in the country espousing public and obstinate heresy. And let's be very honest, friends. Thinking that Pelosi can somehow fall into this "honest doubt and confusion" camp is to be completely divorced from reality. She claimed to have "studied" the issue. She was prompted by Brokaw on what the actual teaching of the Church is. She admitted that she understood it. Then she denied it. She was corrected by a busload of bishops, priests, and laity from all over the country. Her response was to issue a statement that she was right and everyone else was wrong. How much more do you really need here.

I hope that His Excellency knows what he's getting into. One of the biggest problems of the last 40 years is this idea that we can "dialogue" error away. Error, to use St. Augustine's terminology, must be killed. Destroyed. Annihilated. Souls are at stake here. I have confidence that this meeting will happen. I really think that he will call her to repentance and instruct her (again) on her errors. Odds are that, absent a marvelous action by the Holy Spirit, she will ignore him. His hand will then be forced. Let us pray that he will have the courage to do the right thing.

Recall, Excellency: Thomas Becket, John Fisher, Thomas More, St. Sebastian, etc. All challenged the secular authority and were martyred. Your crown of thorns is not nearly as weighty as that. Your calling is to defend the Faith. We are praying for you.

By the way, in case anyone is wondering just how many bishops have chimed in on this, American Papist has a good list:

Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver was the first American bishop to respond
Bishop James Conley, his auxiliary
Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington DC
Cardinal Justin Regali of Philadelphia
Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport
Cardinal Edward Egan of New York
Bishop Samuel Aquila of Fargo
Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh
Bishop Michael Sheridan of Colorado Springs
Archbishop Jose Gomez of San Antonio
Bishop Oscar Cantu, his auxiliary bishop
Bishop William Murphy of Rockville
Bishop Edward Slatter of Tulsa
Bishop Kevin Farrell of Dallas
Bishop Gregory Aymond of Austin
Bishop James Slattery of Tulsa
Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston
Bishop Thomas Wenski of Orlando
Archbishop John Nienstedt of Saint Paul/Minneapolis
Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, President of the US Bishops,
Bishop Robert Vasa of Baker, OR
Bishop Jerome Listecki of La Crosse, WI
Bishop Joseph Gossman of Raleigh, N C
Bishop Richard Lennon of Cleveland, OH

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