Topic category: Other/General
Pro-abortion Politicians Are Not Above Church Law
Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver: “Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is a gifted public servant of strong convictions and many professional skills. Regrettably, knowledge of Catholic history and teaching does not seem to be one of them. . . . Abortion kills an unborn, developing human life. It is always gravely evil, and so are the evasions employed to justify it. Catholics who make excuses for it – whether they're famous or not – fool only themselves and abuse the fidelity of those Catholics who do sincerely seek to follow the Gospel and live their Catholic faith.”
Speaker Pelosi prompted Archbishop Chaput’s public statement by describing herself on “Meet The Press” as an ardent Catholic and then proceeding to say that her Church does not know when life begins.
The truth is that Speaker Pelosi is an ardent abortion supporter and an apostate Catholic who has been permitted to receive Holy Communion for years in violation of church law.
It is a scandal.
Recently, Lisa Fabrizio, in “American Papists,” opined that “[i]t seems that Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden might finally drive good priests and bishops to publicly deny them the Holy Eucharist.”
The sooner, the better!
“As Pope Benedict XVI explained, ‘There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.’
“And here is where the rubber meets the road for Catholics like Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi and their followers, to whom they are giving examples of grave moral error, or scandal, as it is known in the Church. And it seems that these scandalous men and women might finally drive good priests and bishops to publicly deny them the Holy Eucharist. Now, many good Catholics have been praying for just such a confrontation; but that’s not what the bishops want. They truly desire — in fact, it is their duty — to return lost sheep to the fold, if they can.
“Yet, at the same time, the Church sees the withholding of Communion to correct grave error as an act of charity. As former St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke points out: ‘If a person who has been admonished persists in public mortal sin and attempts to receive Communion, the minister of the Eucharist has the obligation to deny it to him. Why? Above all, for the salvation of that person, preventing him from committing a sacrilege.’”
It is A DUTY as well as an act of charity to refuse Holy Communion in accordance with the mandate of Canon 915!
I addressed this scandal and Speaker Pelosi’s prominent part in it in an article posted on the Internet, “Holy Communion Should Be Denied To Kerry,” posted at www.catholiconline.com on May 25, 2004.
Now Speaker Pelosi has become more powerful and more brazen.
I stated the obvious—“The protection of the Holy Eucharist must be the bishops’ paramount consideration today”—and the continued as follows:
”House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, an ardent abortion supporter and nominal Roman Catholic, ‘fully intend[s] to receive communion, one way or another,’ despite Vatican opposition to the receipt of Holy Communion by persons professing to be both Catholics in a state of grace and abortion supporters.
“Ms. Pelosi explained that receiving Holy Communion is ‘very important’ to her. That makes good sense politically, since a Catholic who presents herself or himself for Communion thereby represents that she or he is in a state of grace and being in a state of grace (or at least appearing to be) is still a political plus.
“Will America’s Catholic bishops cooperate or chastise America’s Nancy Pelosi's, Tom Daschle's, Ted Kennedy's and John Kerry's? (Prominent nominally Catholic politicians tend to be Democrats, but there are some nominally Catholic Republicans who share their perverse priorities, such as Maine Senator Susan Collins.)”
Church law is clear: “Canon 915 provides that ‘[t]hose… who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin, are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.’”
Canon 915 is intended to protect the Holy Eucharist and to prevents the public scandal that would result from ineligible persons receiving Holy Communion.
I encouraged bishops to follow canon law regardless of political consequence:
“Bishops who are reluctant to embarrass prominent politicians need to recall that Jesus had no patience for those moneychangers in the Temple. Protecting the sanctity of the Temple was His paramount consideration then. The protection of the Holy Eucharist must be the bishops’ paramount consideration today.
“Averting public scandal is vital. As St. Thomas Aquinas long ago explained, a distinction ‘must be made’ between secret and open sinners, and ‘Holy Communion ought not to be given to open sinners when they ask for it.’”
To be sure, there were some who stood firmly in opposition to self-described “Catholic” politicians who supported abortion as a civil right and yet insisted that they had a right to receive Holy Communion:
“Bishop William K. Weigand of Sacramento has called on pro-choice Catholic politicians to refrain from taking Holy Communion. ‘As your bishop, I have to say clearly that anyone -- politician or otherwise -- who thinks it is acceptable for a Catholic to be pro-abortion is in very great error, puts his or her soul at risk, and is not in good standing with the Church. Such a person should have the integrity to acknowledge this and choose of his own volition to abstain from receiving Holy Communion until he has a change of heart,’ he said.
“Last year, Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis, then Bishop of La Crosse, Wisconsin, went further. He publicly decreed that Catholic legislators in his diocese who ‘support procured abortion or euthanasia may not present themselves to receive Holy Communion’ and are to be denied Holy Communion if they nevertheless present themselves ‘until…they publicly renounce their support of these most unjust practices.’ Prior private efforts to persuade had been rebuffed.
“Archbishop Burke emphasized that he did what a bishop is required to do. He explained that ‘[t]he duty of Catholic legislators to respect human life is….God’s law,’ and that bishops who ‘remain silent while the faith, in one of its most fundamental tenets, is…openly disobeyed by those who present themselves as sincere adherents of the faith, [has] failed most seriously and should be removed from office.’”
Pope Benedict XVI promoted Archbishop Burke, but tragically many Catholic bishops did not follow his excellent example.
It is NOT a Democrat-Republican thing.
As Pope John Paul II proclaimed in his 1988 Apostolic Exhortation: “Above all, the common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights -- for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture -- is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and condition to all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination.”
I reported in my 2004 article:
”For what has become a scandalously long time, the Roman Catholic Church has neglected to bar from Holy Communion many prominent nominal Catholics who publicly and proudly support abortion, in blatant violation of the fundamental Church teaching that human life is sacred and begins at conception.
“John Kerry, a nominal Catholic, is the presumptive presidential candidate of the Democrat Party. He is supporting partial-birth abortion, calling abortion a woman's right and vowing to appoint only pro-abortion justices. At the dinner hosted by NARAL Pro-Choice America (formerly, the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League) to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decisions in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, Kerry proclaimed, ‘We are not going to turn back the clock. There is no overturning of Roe v. Wade. There is no packing of courts with judges who will be hostile to choice.’
“Kerry has created a public scandal by receiving Holy Communion while flagrantly rejecting fundamental Church teaching.”
I added an egregious example of political expediency trumping religious principle for Catholic politicians: “In 1971, Kerry's Massachusetts colleague and fellow nominal Catholic, Ted Kennedy, wrote, ‘Human life, even at its earliest stages, has a certain right which must be recognized—the right to be born, the right to love, the right to grow old.’ Then Roe v. Wade was decided and political expediency prevailed over Catholic principle for many ambitious politicians.”
“The sanctioning of Kerry and his kind is necessary. Like racism, abortion is a grave sin. Its tolerance is intolerable. Like covering up child abuse, tolerating the receipt of Holy Communion by pro-abortion politicians is an abomination.”
“The barring of John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi and other pro-abortion nominally Catholic politicians has been too long delayed. The sooner the bar is imposed, the better. Perhaps they too will repent before death and receive a Catholic burial. Jesus did not pander to politicians, much less put monetary considerations (such as tax exemption) before principle.
“Sin should be identified as such and political correctness does not excuse sin. “A priest who knowingly gives Communion to a pro-abortion politician commits a grave sin as well as the unworthy recipient.
Ms. Fabrizio: “…sadly, these and other admonitions seem to carry no weight with those who persist in identifying themselves with an organization whose membership is voluntary but whose precepts are obligatory. And so we are left with Catholics who flagrantly flaunt Church teaching and encourage others to do so, but fall all over themselves to genuflect before the Pope and kiss his ring.”
An end to the scandal must be put, before Speaker Pelosi spreads her false teachings and insists her sycophants in the Church not only give her Holy Communion, but kiss her foot.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.