Saturday, July 3, 2004

What Cardinal Ratzinger really wanted from the American Bishops

The Italian periodical L'espresso (based in Rome) has allegedly obtained a copy of Cardinal Ratzinger's instructions on the distribution of communion, initially sent as a "a confidential letter, during the first half of June, to cardinal McCarrick and to the president of the bishops' conference, Wilton Gregory." If this is the authentic document, the Cardinal in his letter could not be more clear in asserting the denial of commmunion to those demonstrating "manifest formal cooperation" with the sins of abortion and euthanasia:
4. Apart from an individuals's judgement about his worthiness to present himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, the minister of Holy Communion may find himself in the situation where he must refuse to distribute Holy Communion to someone, such as in cases of a declared excommunication, a declared interdict, or an obstinate persistence in manifest grave sin (cf. can. 915).

5. Regarding the grave sin of abortion or euthanasia, when a person's formal cooperation becomes manifest (understood, in the case of a Catholic politician, as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws), his Pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the Church's teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist.

6. When "these precautionary measures have not had their effect or in which they were not possible," and the person in question, with obstinate persistence, still presents himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, "the minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it" (cf. Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts Declaration "Holy Communion and Divorced, Civilly Remarried Catholics" [2002], nos. 3-4). This decision, properly speaking, is not a sanction or a penalty. Nor is the minister of Holy Communion passing judgement on the person's subjective guilt, but rather is reacting to the person's public unworthiness to receive Holy Communion due to an objective situation of sin.

Source: "The Kerry Affair: What Ratzinger Wanted from the American Bishops", by Sandro Magister, which publishes the note: "Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion. General Principles." July 3, 2004.

Related Links:

No comments:

Post a Comment