Saturday, August 7, 2004

Ratzinger, McCarrick, Vasa, Burke -- The Mystery Continues.

Catholic World News has a good catch-up on the controversy regarding Cardinal McCarrick's handling and presentation of the Memorandum from Cardinal Ratzinger. While McCarrick claims that the letter was personally meant for him and not to be read by the rest of the bishops at the conference in Denver, CWNews claims that:
When the Washington Times asked Cardinal McCarrick to comment on the report in L’Espresso, the American prelate replied that the document which Magister reprinted "may represent an incomplete and partial leak of a private communication from Cardinal Ratzinger, and it may not accurately reflect the full message I received." But an informed Vatican official, speaking to Catholic News Agency, confirmed that the document in L’Espresso was authentic, and "hardly requires a context or further documents for interpretation." Although the Ratzinger memo was accompanied by a cover letter, the source said, "it does not modify a bit the full content of the memorandum."

Adding to Cardinal McCarrick’s discomfort, the Vatican source told Catholic News Agency that Cardinal Ratzinger had never intended to keep his memo secret, "especially from fellow bishops gathered at the Denver meeting."

Recently, Barbara Kralis interviewed Bishop Vasa, who expressed his dissatisfaction with the fact that McCarrick concealed the letter from the bishops at the conference, and with McCarrick's presentation of events:

Were all of the bishops informed of Cardinal Ratzinger's clear supportive directive citing why the bishops must deny manifest, obstinate, persistent persons in grave sin?

Bishop Vasa replied that the June memorandum from Cardinal Ratzinger was not given to the Conference of Bishops in Denver.

"As I recall, Cardinal McCarrick made reference to some letter, but I did not see a copy of the letter at the meeting. I don't know if the committee writing the 'Statement,' entitled "Catholics in Political Life," was given a copy of the letter."

Bishop Vasa was not sure when the memorandum was delivered to Cardinal McCarrick and Bishop Gregory.

It is well known that Cardinal McCarrick presented to the Conference his 'Interim Report', which instead warned against denying anyone the Eucharist.

Now, LifeSiteNews reports, another Bishop has sided with Bishop Vasa:

In an exclusive interview with Barbara Kralis of, St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke has become the second U.S. Bishop to admit that the letter from Vatican Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger intended to guide U.S. Bishops in their deliberations around the subject of communion and pro-abortion politicians was withheld from the bishops. . . .

On the Ratzinger memo which spelled out that obstinately pro-abortion Catholic politicians must be denied communion, Burke was asked, "were the contents of the memo made known to you and the other bishops at the Denver meeting?" He replied, "It certainly was not made known to me and I do not believe it was given to the other bishops. Cardinal McCarrick referred to the memorandum. We were told that, according to Cardinal Ratzinger, the application of the Canon 915 was up to the prudent judgment of each bishop. The text of the memorandum would have been very helpful at the meeting in Denver. Knowing now about the memo, I am disappointed it was not given to us at the meeting of the Bishops' Conference."

So, we have a Cardinal who withheld a Memorandum from the Prefect of the Congregetation for the Doctrine of the Faith on General Principles to guide the distribution of communion, with specific mention to public Catholic figures who endorse views and take positions contrary to the moral teachings of the Catholic Church, at a meeting of Catholic Bishops formulating a document precisely on that very topic . . . two fellow bishops who now profess their discontent that the document was not made available to them . . . and a Catholic News agency which claims that an undisclosed source from the Vatican informed them that the document was intended by the Cardinal to be made public "especially to the bishops at the Denver Meeting."

Something's up.

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