Saturday, August 1, 2009

Caritas In Veritate: A Different Application

We might be seeing this whole "charity in truth" thing becoming a bit of a motto for the Benedictine Vatican.

Cardinal Canizares, the new top guy at the Congregation for Divine Worship, dropped the term in reference to dealing with ostensibly Catholic politicians who vote pro-abortion.

It's on LifeSiteNews.

"Politicians should become aware and they should be helped to become aware of the gravity of their conduct," the cardinal said at his offices in Rome. "When they approve laws against life, in favor of abortion or euthanasia, priests and bishops should say this."

He said that the principle that should be applied is the one that gives the title to the latest encyclical of Pope Benedict XVI, "Caritas in Veritate."

"This principle, caritas in veritate [love in truth], should be the principle used, first by politicians when they come to Communion, and second it should be the rule for bishops when they decide whether to give or to withdraw Communion."

In other words, let's be honest. The Church is about saving souls. Providing you politicians with assistance in damning yourselves kind of runs contrary to that. You are loved so much that nobody wants to contribute to your going to hell. Who can argue with that?

Canizares explained that according to Catholic teaching those who insist upon receiving Communion in a state of serious sin are in grave spiritual danger and emphasized that the withholding of Communion is meant for the person's spiritual salvation.

He said, "I think that the strongest words are found in St. Paul: one who goes to the Eucharist and is not properly prepared, duly prepared, 'he eats his own condemnation'. This is the strongest thing that we can say and what is the most truthful statement."

Between this and the recent comments by Archbishop Burke, the margin for being able to "loophole" around prohibiting communion would seem to be shrinking. The most striking example of this is then-Cardinal Ratzinger's letter of 2004. Cardinal Canizares seems to think it's pretty clear:

Cardinal Canizares pointed to two documents that bishops can use for guidance on how to deal with politicians who refuse to reform their consciences - the encyclical of the late Pope John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae and the document produced by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 2004 when Cardinal Ratzinger was Prefect. That document stated clearly that pro-abortion Catholic politicians "must be refused" Holy Communion if they attempt to receive at Mass.

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