WEBCommentary Contributor

Author: Michael J. Gaynor
Date:  May 30, 2007

Topic category:  Other/General

The "Fruit" of Allowing Public Scandal: MORE

Pope Benedict XVI: "Legislative action in favor of abortion is incompatible with participation in the Eucharist. Politicians exclude themselves from communion."

The United States needs bishops like Archbishop Raymond L. Burke of St. Louis, Missouri, who realizes that tolerance can be a vice as well as a virtue, depending upon what is being tolerated, and sacrilege and public scandal are not to be tolerated.

Archbishop Burke: "Right reason...tells us that a bishop, if he truly cares for the flock, must admonish Catholic politicians 'who choose to depart from church teaching on the inviolability of human life in their public life' regarding 'the consequences for their own spiritual well being, as well as the scandal they risk by leading others into serious sin' (Living the Gospel of Life, No. 32)." In addition, "if the Catholic politician does not recognize the lack of the proper disposition to receive Communion, then the church herself must refuse the sacrament, in order to safeguard the worthy reception of the sacrament and to prevent a serious scandal among the faithful."

Because, in the words of Archbishop Burke: "What would be profoundly more sorrowful [than excluding] would be the failure of a bishop to call a soul to conversion, the failure to protect the flock from scandal and the failure to safeguard the worthy reception of Communion."

Not every bishop is to blame, but the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops bears blame for the results of a recent national poll that showed majority support for pro-abortion politicians receiving Holy Communion in the Catholic Church, that is, for sacrilege and public scandal.

The poll followed authoritative comments by Pope Benedict XVI that Catholic politicians who support abortion should be denied Communion at church and automatically excommunicated themselves.

Pope Benedict XVI: "Legislative action in favor of abortion is incompatible with participation in the Eucharist. Politicians exclude themselves from communion."

Rasmussen Reports conducted a telephone poll with 1,000 American adults on May 16 and 17.The statement to each respondent: "The Pope believes that Catholic politicians who support abortion rights should be denied communion. Do you agree or disagree?"

According to the survey, 53 percent said they disagreed, 23 percent agreed and 24 percent said they were unsure or refused to answer the question.

I wonder what those polled think of each of the Ten Commandments.

Whatever, they are the Ten Commandments, not the Ten Suggestions to be voted on, of course.

Likewise, canon (church) law is to obeyed, not flouted and then submitted to the world for approval or disapproval.

Permitting unrepentant sinners who deny that sin is sin to pose as faithful Catholics only results in more sacrilege and greater public scandal that bring those who permit into disrepute.

Example: Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke at the Jesuit Society of San Francisco Commencement this month.

The Cardinal Newman Society (CNS) had urged the University of San Francisco (USF), a Jesuit, Catholic university, to cancel its invitation to Speaker Pelosi to deliver the university's commencement address.

"Even as we celebrate the fact that a growing number of Catholic colleges are choosing exemplary commencement speakers and honorees, we learn that the University of San Francisco has chosen a much different direction," wrote CNS President Patrick J. Reilly in a letter to USF President Rev. Stephen Privett, S.J. "You are publicly allying a Catholic university with leaders of what Pope John Paul II called a 'Culture of Death.'"


CNS also opposed the University awarding a posthumous honorary degree to pro-abortion politician Leo T. McCarthy.

Mr. McCarthy, who had died in February, received his award posthumously as "an individual who embodies the university's mission," according to a USF press release. As a U.S. Senate candidate in 1988 and 1992, he pledged to write the Roe v. Wade ruling into federal law, supported federal funding for abortions and contraceptives, and advocated distribution of the abortion pill RU-486. While serving as California's lieutenant governor from 1982 to 1984, McCarthy led states opposing a ban on abortion counseling at federally funded clinics.

If Mr. McCarthy embodied the University's mission, the University's mission needs revision!

In June 2004, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops declared: "The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions."

But some choose to defy that to honor the defyers of fundamental moral principles!

Happily, the trend is in the right direction: this year, CNS has reported problems at 13 colleges, far fewer than the 26 colleges cited in 2006.

But sacrilege and public scandal continue.

The following article by Hillary White of LIFESITE.com shows the nature of the problem: misinformation by miscreants misguiding others and seemingly plausible because the miscreants remain unpunished.

Kissling Dares Catholic Hierarchy to Excommunicate Her for Abortion Advocacy

WASHINGTON, Abortion advocate Frances Kissling, head of Catholics for a Free Choice, is all but begging the US bishops to excommunicate her in a column this week while claiming that her "right" to support abortion is enshrined in Canon law.

She declares, after decades of public repudiation of the basic tenets of Catholicism, that she cannot be excommunicated formally because Canon law itself is equivocal and open to interpretation. Kissling has made her fame by being the "Catholic" voice of abortion claiming for decades that it is possible to repudiate the sanctity of human life and remain a "good Catholic."

"No one who could actually excommunicate me has ever done so." Kissling taunts the hierarchy saying if she were excommunicated, "I could get a book contract, go on a speaking tour and have a couple years of celebrity."

But it is true that after 25 years of public advocacy for abortion and as the abortion movement's favorite weapon to bash and ridicule Catholic teaching, Kissling remains, officially, in good standing as a Catholic and claims to receive Communion regularly.

Kissling writes, "Every so often some Roman Catholic hierarch gets a bee in his beanie and makes noises about excommunicating some pro-choice policy maker. Ultra-orthodox Catholics are ecstatic, and even mainstream newspapers turn into tabloids rushing to report the imminence of something that never happens."

She remarks on the Pope's concerns about the spread of abortion in Latin America and his recent comments to reporters that Mexican politicians who support abortion must be excommunicated, an opinion he expressed more forthrightly as Cardinal Ratzinger during the last US presidential election.

Kissling, however, points out that with all the official expressions of concern for abortion, nothing happens to the makers of the liberalized laws. "The pope -- and it seems most Catholic bishops -- do not excommunicate; they equivocate."

Most frequently cited is the claim that pro-abortion politicians have "excommunicated themselves," a claim, she points out, that makes it easier for bishops to disclaim responsibility for taking action.

Kissling says, "In the absence of any willingness from the hierarchy to issue an actual, formal 'bull of excommunication,' which requires due process, warnings and canonical justification, conservative church leaders prefer ambiguity."

Indeed, bishops who are willing to say as much are a rarity. During the 2004 presidential election, while John Kerry was receiving accolades for his abortion advocacy, then-Archbishop of Washington, Cardinal McCarrick, said simply that he was "not comfortable" with the idea of even refusing him Communion. His successor recently stated that he too would not be willing to refuse Communion even to Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives who is as militant in her abortion support as Kissling.

Kissling's interpretation of the episcopal inaction is unique, however. She claims the reason is that Canon law allows Catholics to repudiate any or all of the teaching of the Church while continuing to consider themselves good Catholics.

She says, "The fact that there were no firm canonical grounds for excommunication did not mean some overzealous bishop wouldn't do the wrong thing."

After decades of militant abortion advocacy, Kissling points in detail to the sections in Canon law which, she claims allow her to continue opposing the Catholic Faith.

"Canon law 1323 sets out the exceptions for excommunication. If one is under 17, ignorant of the penalty for one's deed, acts out of fear or coercion, or believes one's action is moral, the penalty does not apply. Many canon lawyers have said that it is unlikely that any woman who has an abortion does not meet one of those exculpatory conditions. Even economic stress could be considered to be coercive."

Pro-life Catholics have pointed out numerous times, however, that while Church law may require her expulsion from the Catholic Church, such action depends upon the will of the men in charge and so far, for whatever reasons, none have been willing to follow through."

The solution to the corrupting phony Catholic problem is in process.

On June 14, 2004, Marc Balestrieri, a young canon lawyer, boldly filed a Denunciation for Heresy and a complaint for reparation of harm in the Ecclesiastical Court of the Archdiocese of Boston against Senator Kerry in an effort to protect the faithful from the soul and life-threatening harm caused by the public violation of Canon 750, par. 1 of the Code of Canon Law. This canon, in essence, forbids every Catholic from publicly denying a core tenet of the Catholic Faith. When a Catholic publicly supports the right to choose abortion, Mr. Balestrieri asserted, he adheres to the Right-to-Murder Heresy, more commonly known as the "Right to Choose" error. (The proceeding is pending, and on September 11, 2004, Mr. Balestrieri initiated proceedings against Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, former Governor Mario Cuomo of New York, Senator Thomas Harkin of Iowa and Senator Susan Collins of Maine, also pending.)

These cases need to proceed all the way to the Vatican as fast as possible, not to be stalled in the name of politics, so that final decisions can be made, confusion can be allayed and canon law will be obeyed.

Michael J. Gaynor

Biography - Michael J. Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member.

Gaynor graduated magna cum laude, with Honors in Social Science, from Hofstra University's New College, and received his J.D. degree from St. John's Law School, where he won the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence and served as an editor of the Law Review and the St. Thomas More Institute for Legal Research. He wrote on the Pentagon Papers case for the Review and obscenity law for The Catholic Lawyer and edited the Law Review's commentary on significant developments in New York law.

The day after graduating, Gaynor joined the Fulton firm, where he focused on litigation and corporate law. In 1997 Gaynor and Emily Bass formed Gaynor & Bass and then conducted a general legal practice, emphasizing litigation, and represented corporations, individuals and a New York City labor union. Notably, Gaynor & Bass prevailed in the Second Circuit in a seminal copyright infringement case, Tasini v. New York Times, against newspaper and magazine publishers and Lexis-Nexis. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed, 7 to 2, holding that the copyrights of freelance writers had been infringed when their work was put online without permission or compensation.

Gaynor currently contributes regularly to www.MichNews.com, www.RenewAmerica.com, www.WebCommentary.com, www.PostChronicle.com and www.therealitycheck.org and has contributed to many other websites. He has written extensively on political and religious issues, notably the Terry Schiavo case, the Duke "no rape" case, ACORN and canon law, and appeared as a guest on television and radio. He was acknowledged in Until Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, and Culture of Corruption, by Michelle Malkin. He appeared on "Your World With Cavuto" to promote an eBay boycott that he initiated and "The World Over With Raymond Arroyo" (EWTN) to discuss the legal implications of the Schiavo case. On October 22, 2008, Gaynor was the first to report that The New York Times had killed an Obama/ACORN expose on which a Times reporter had been working with ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief.

Gaynor's email address is gaynormike@aol.com.

Copyright 2007 by Michael J. Gaynor
All Rights Reserved.

© 2004-2007 by WEBCommentary(tm), All Rights Reserved