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Thursday, February 24, 2011


Charles E Flynn

Whoopi Goldberg is on the holodeck. The cliche enthusiast you see on The View is an imposter.


As for what Jesus would do . . .

Well, He might remind folks that HE is the Judge and, while it is all well and good and admirable to want to protect the sacraments, such that speaking in generalities is fine, He might also point out that it is not the place of such people to play Communion Police with respect to the situation of specific persons. Maybe it is for that person's bishop to do that, but not canon law bloggers.

Carl E. Olson

Maybe it is for that person's bishop to do that, but not canon law bloggers.

Dr. Peters does indeed blog, but he is, of course, an actual canon lawyer, and he is not just any canon lawyer, as the CNS News article notes: spoke by e-mail with Dr. Peters, who was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI last year as a referendarius (consultant) to the Apostolic Signatura, the Church’s highest administrative tribunal, itself subject only to the Pope and under the direction of Cardinal Raymond Burke, the archbishop emeritus of St. Louis, Mo.

If you haven't read the CNS article, I suggest you consider doing so.

Pete V

At my church and several others I have visited EVERYONE goes to communion. Very few seem to go to confession but EVERYONE goes to communion. So maybe there are a lot of Catholics who don't agree with Canon 916. I assume using God's name in vain, lust, drunkeness, and some of the others have not been downgraded to a minor sin.

Mark Brumley

Bender, with all due respect, your comments seem arbitrary and unfounded.

Are the facts in dispute here?

Is there a question of the competence of the canonist in question?

Is there a question about whether he accurately states and interprets the canon in question?

Is there a question about whether or not Dr. Peters has the right to express his views publically, regarding public matters, and within his competence?

I'm trying to figure out on what rational basis you ground your objection, Bender.

David K. Monroe

Typical. They imply that the Sacrament is meaningless ("wine and crackers") but are still indignant that someone is denied it.

Cuomo can get wine and crackers at any Anglican church.

Lauri Friesen

I think that there clearly are a lot of Catholics who are completely ignorant of Canon 916, along with those who are in disagreement with it. That hardly justifies their taking communion while in a state of sin and then leading others to do the same. The lack of reasoned argumentation used by all those who wish to be Catholic while denying the truth of the Church's teachings is getting so tiresome. I mean, who are the divisive and judgmental ones in these discussions: those who desire to know and live the teachings of Jesus Christ or those who desire to fudge those teachings so as to feel good about themselves, while namecalling and hiding behind "WWJD" to avoid addressing the issues?

Gail F

Pete V: Actually, some of those ARE minor sins that do not require confession -- venial sins are taken care of by the prayers for forgiveness in the mass. As far as most Catholics going up for communion goes, that is the norm these days. Most Catholics in this country are not well catechized, have been told that "all are welcome at the Lord's table" and similar things, or are simply embarrassed to not do what everyone else is doing. I would think that very few have a considered opinion on the matter, or at least not one based on correct understanding of Catholic teaching.

Loretta Westin

I bet that Cuomo himself cares more for the considered opinion of Ed Peters than for the reactionary blatherings of a tv personality . Perhaps hearing it outloud will help him sort things out.

Pete V

Gail f.....Please tell me which ones are venial sins. I always thought using God's name was a big no no but maybe you can correct me on that.I was always taught by the good Sisters of Mercy that lust was a big no no also and being intoxicated was looked upon as not a venial either but you can straighten me out on that one too (Silly Sisters of Mercy!!!) All I know is I sit in the back of the church and watch everyone go up to communion and I think about the "good old days" when we would go to confession on Thursday or Friday ...long lines BTW... and try our best not to sin so that we can receive Christ in a pure state and I know many of these people have not been to confession in months or maybe years, but of course, I will be accused of judging people when really I am judging the liberal church I attend.


It seems to me that things are turned around here if we are in a situation where it is necessary that a Canon Lawyer point out the scandal.

It should not have to be this way. We can all fall back, as an explanation, on the lack of proper catechesis, etc. but I think the real question is what can be done about it now? People complain about the communion police, but if it seems evident that people are not policing themselves, as these high profile cases illustrate, then what is the solution?

It would seem that the best way is to get people to police themselves. How to do that? The message must be preached, and that starts with the Bishop in each diocese. Why is the message not being preached, even by priests who are disturbed by this?

Some suggest that there is a fear of losing the financial support of parishioners who might be offended if some hard truths, such as what constitutes mortal sin specifically, were proclaimed from the pulpit. I have heard others suggest that priests are intimidated, and do not want the backlash.

I think perhaps the priests of our parishes, if they are actually on board with the truth of this, might have a little more fortitude if we were to make it plain to them that we are watching their back, that we support them preaching the truth in love.

This is one area where the Knights of Columbus can specifically help, committed as they are to supporting and defending priests.

Certainly, not all priests would even want to preach this message on a regular basis, but those who do will find that their parish grows because the truth is like a magnet, especially to young people who are seeking authenticity and a challenge, not compromise.

Robert Miller

When we say "everyone receives Communion" at Mass nowadays, we are comparing what we see at Mass nowadays with what some of us are old enough to remember from "the old days". Remember though that the percentage of Catholics who attended Mass regularly was much higher in the 1950s than it is today. I can remember when half the congregation (or so it appeared to an altar boy)didn't receive at any given Sunday Mass. Perhaps today people who are similarly indisposed, just don't attend Mass at all -- which, of course, is very sad, even tragic.

Francis Beckwith

Bender writes:

"As for what Jesus would do . . .

Well, He might remind folks that HE is the Judge and, while it is all well and good and admirable to want to protect the sacraments, such that speaking in generalities is fine, He might also point out that it is not the place of such people to play Communion Police with respect to the situation of specific persons. Maybe it is for that person's bishop to do that, but not canon law bloggers"

Why then don't you lead by example and leave the screen blank?

He who is without stones should not cast the first sin.

Dan Deeny

Very interesting. I wonder if there is a canon law that deals with bishops in this situation? Maybe Dr. Peters could let us know?
It seems to me that the bishop has a difficult pastoral problem. He has a very famous person, the son of a famous person who is famous for his I'm-personally-against-abortion justification for his politics (who gave his speech at Notre Dame), who is responsible now for three daughters and his lady friend. I keep in mind here the fact that Satan detests, despises, and hates women; in particular, he hates young women between the ages of about 15 and 40 because they are the ones who bring life into the world. Gov. Cuomo is responsible for four young women right in Satan's target ages. So, it seems to me, the bishop has to, somehow, keep these five in the church where he can teach them some skills, some weapons they can use against the Prince of Darkness. What is most important here, it seems to me, is not the official teaching of the Church, but the souls of these four people. I suppose it will take the finesse of a saint to do what the bishop must do. What saint could do that? St. Dominic? He failed when he tried to bring the Cathars back into the Church. St. Ignatius?
The bishop probably should have given a homily concentrating on the abortion business. One of Sanger's targets was Italian immigrants. The bishop could have mentioned this and looked at the Governor with a friendly smile.
Does anyone know of a good saint for a situation like this?


Dan Deeny, very well said re young women. Very well said!

As far as saints, let's just go hyperdrive on this, I mean hyperdulia, and say an Ave Maria. The young woman who crushed his head for all time. All the saintliness of all the saints combined is not as saintly as she. She can more than handle her nemesis and, with four women involved in this scandal, is watching the situation from her seat at her Son's right hand, with great remorse, no doubt.

Michael W

This circle of anti-Catholics despise Catholicism almost as much as they disdain intelligent conversation.

The worst of the lot is Elizabeth Hasselbach, the supposed "conservative" and graduate of that bastion of "education in the Jesuit tradition", Boston College.

Gabriel Austin

Mr. Peters seems to have a good point as a canon lawyer, and expert in the field. He is asking the bishop to explain his support of the governor and his paramour in the face of canon law. Is it not fair enough for a bishop to know canon law; and to follow it? Or is the bishop simply continuing an episcopal tradition of playing footsie with politicians and giving them a pass? It is a long tradition in the Church. It is why the road to hell is paved with the skulls of bishops.

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