- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 2, 2009



No Catholic who supports the so-called “right” to butcher a baby in the womb is truly in allegiance with the church.

Mr. O’Brien correctly stated that 54 percent of American Roman Catholics voted for President Obama. However, that does not constitute true “reconciliation of faith with political beliefs.” After all, truth is not dependent on consensus. The sad fact, however, does point to poor leadership from too many American bishops.

Regarding the distribution of Holy Communion to pro-abortion politicians, Mr. O’Brien states that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops “rightly reminded American Catholics that such matters should be left to local bishops.” Well, yes, it did. However, such a “reminder” was very incorrect. Canon 915 of the Roman Catholic Church’s Code of Canon Law states very simply: “Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty as well as others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Communion.” It can’t be stated any more clearly than it already has. There is no “wiggle room” for local bishops. Archbishop Raymond L. Burke, in an interview he gave earlier this month, explicitly stated this position, and he stated that this canon binds upon all clergy.

Mr. O’Brien states his opinion that “Archbishop Raymond L. Burke … need not be dictating from Rome how American bishops should act … .” Well, I suggest that Mr. O’Brien need not be dictating to Vatican officials how they should govern the internal affairs of the Roman Catholic Church.

Mr. O’Brien ends his letter by stating that “the altar rail is not a place for political battles.” Well, the blame for these “political battles at the altar rail” can be squarely laid at the feet of those pro-abortion politicians who dare to present themselves for Communion, knowing fully well that they are in grave sin. By the enforcement of Canon 915, the bishops can end such battles once and for all, and perhaps help bring about an end to abortion in this country. Do they have the resolve to do so?



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