Monday, November 24, 2008

Cardinal George, FOCA, and Automatic Excoms

I wish these comments from CNS gave some sort of comfort. Yes, I know a lot of bishops stepped up to the verbal plate this past election. That's a good thing. However, that's just a small step compared to what His Eminence is talking about here.

When asked last week whether a Catholic politician voting for the FOCA – which would impose nationwide abortion on demand and government funding of abortion – would incur automatic excommunication from the Catholic Church, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago said the question would need to be discussed once the actual language of the bill was known. . .

At a press conference at the fall meeting of the USCCB held in Baltimore last week, asked Cardinal George if the language in the Catholic Catechism that says “formal cooperation” in abortion incurs the penalty of excommunication would apply to a Catholic member of Congress voting for FOCA.

Passage of FOCA can be seen as nothing less than a declaration of war against the Church and, by default, Christ Himself. That alone should be sufficient to qualify for ecclesiastical sanction, regardless of what sort of casuistry is used to opt the Act's supporters out of formal cooperation.

Can. 1374 A person who joins an association which plots against the Church is to be punished with a just penalty; however, a person who promotes or directs an association of this kind is to be punished with an interdict.

If this sounds extreme, I'd advise you to read the text of the Act. Granted, what it looks like in its final passage might be different, but judging from what it says now, I think my point is valid.

It would be very nice if the same clerics who were so outspoken during this election would stop making statements like this (condemnations with ample wiggle room) and then failing to take action. It only serves to create scandal and further sap the Church's credibility when push comes to shove. It's a shame, but I can't believe in the veracity of such threats until I actually see them enforced.

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