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Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Nick Milne

Thanks for the link, Carl; Phase I of my sinister plan is complete. Further bulletins on Phases II through VI as events warrant.

Also: I'd like to hear what Ed Peters thinks about the Canon 1367 issue. He's written some quite excellent stuff on excommunication, obviously, so this is a subject where his take would be highly appreciated.

Mark Brumley

Thanks, Nick. Good job on the post. Thoughtful analysis and commentary.


I second that. Great coverage Nick.
At first glance the whole sorry affair is a little chilling. The reaction of the Prof., although irrational and extreme is perhaps not unexpected. Young Mr. Cook's actions, however, seem to be a manifestation of a lack of discernment of the Body of Christ that appears to be widespread among the baptized, if the controversy over pro-abortion politicos is any indication.

There have been times and places in history when invaders, barbarians, totalitarians, sectarians and run-of-the-mill hooligans have gone out of their way to desecrate the Holy Eucharist precisely because it is so important to Catholics. By the tone of the professor and the recent rise of belligerent atheism, it appears that we are sliding into an era of incivility once more in which we must be more aware of the potential for malicious mischief and take the appropriate steps.

West Coast Catholic

And that seems to be the million dollar question....

....what exactly are the appropriate steps?

WCC +<><



The recent ho-hum response from numbers of Catholics to the Sally Quinn affair at Tim Russert's funeral Mass gives us a window on where to start. (There were also many who were outraged.) In interviews, SQ seemed quite comfortable saying she would do it again, on the strength of support she received from Catholics and even one priest. She obviously doesn't know that doctrine in the Church is not determined democratically.
On other issues such as a rogue priest, a rogue congregation, a new age fad and so on, the Bishop of my diocese has by-passed the timid priests and exercised his teaching authority directly to the people, sometimes through full page bulletin inserts, sometimes through parish by parish preaching at Mass.
If pastors are reluctant to take the backlash from some, they can then take cover from the Bishop. The point is that the Bishops need to be convinced first that there is a problem, because they have the ability and authority to work on the solution.
St. Paul, in his warning to the Corinthians about discerning the Body of Christ points to examination of conscience, which is all that anyone can do, including the Pope himself. However, the direct, explicit and relentless formation of that conscience among the baptized, is the first and formost responsibility of the Bishops. Without fanfare, they need to do whatever it takes to put this issue specifically in front of the people, until nobody can say they didn't know at Mass what a mortal sin is.

If we think about it, as an example, if 58% of Catholics say they are using artificial contraception, can we really assume that it is only the other 42% that are going to Mass and receiving Holy Communion? If the confession line is short and the communion line is long, can we just assume that we are witnessing a people perfected in holiness? Sure, it is possible, but is it likely?

In the end, if the social pressure to go up and receive is changed to a social pressure to get to confession, it will be only the obstinate left who will defy Church teaching and many of them will feel much less comfortable in doing so.

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