Don’t fall for the facile headlines. Pope Francis did not say that it would be wrong to deny the Eucharist to pro-abortion politicians. Not quite.
In fact the Pontiff emphasized support for legal abortion is unacceptable. “Abortion is homicide,” he said, and if the Church accepts the practice, “it would be like accepting daily murder.”
The challenge, he continued, is “how do we bishops deal with this principle pastorally.” On that question, Pope Francis expressed his caution: “When the Church defends a principle in an unpastoral manner, it acts on a political level.” To avoid a politicized Church, he advised: “Be a pastor and don’t go around condemning.”
So the key is that pastors should act pastorally: always sound advice. But suppose a pastor decided to withhold the Eucharist from President Biden— not because he wanted to advance the Republican Party, not because he wanted to ban abortion (however welcome that result that might be), but because he wanted to save Joe Biden’s soul? Would it be wrong in that case to withhold Communion?>
Pope Francis did not address that question. He claimed that he had never confronted the problem himself as a pastor. There is little doubt, I concede, that if he did confront the problem, he would not withhold Communion. But in his discussion with reporters today, he did not offer any instruction to other priests, other than the admonition to be pastoral.
Oddly enough, many of the Pope’s most enthusiastic supporters wanted him to address political issues during this papal trip, particularly when he met with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, whose views on immigration are radically different from those of the Pontiff. But Pope Francis told reporters that when he spoke with Orban, the subject did not arise: “On immigration, nothing.” Evidently he chose (to the disappointment of liberal pundits) not to provoke a confrontation.
In a confusing conclusion to his comments on the abortion-Communion debate, the Pope mentioned “the storm that was whipped up with Amoris Laetitia” over the reception of Communion by Catholics who are divorced and remarried. That issue was “clarified” by Cardinal Schönborn, he said, implying that the storm has cleared and the issue is settled.
But that storm has not cleared, and the issue is not settled, because Cardinal Schönborn could not give an authoritative interpretation of a papal encyclical, and the man who wrote it has refused to answer the dubia submitted by a group of senior prelates, including the Cardinal Raymond Burke. As with his statements on the flight from Slovakia, so too with Amoris Laetitia: the Pope has given a gesture in one direction, but declined to make a clear statement — perhaps because a clear statement would be clearly at odds with perennial Church teaching.
And speaking of Cardinal Burke, Pope Francis made a characteristically ungracious reference to the American prelate during his airplane interview, mentioning that Burke, who has resisted the drive for Covid vaccination, is recovering from a severe bout with the disease. “Life is ironic,” the Pope said. But where is the irony here? It should not be surprising that a man who was not vaccinated suffers from the disease for which the vaccination was designed. It is far more surprising that many people who have been vaccinated have the disease. Now that is irony.
Pope Francis said that he could not understand why people resist vaccination. The apparent failure of the Covid vaccine to curb the spread of the virus would be one practical reason, along with the widespread reports of adverse effects from vaccination. But if he is looking for a moral principle behind the resistance, the Pontiff need look no further than the December 2020 statement from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, issued with his express endorsement. True, the CDF concluded that it is “morally acceptable” to use the available vaccines. But that judgment came only after the CDF confirmed that it is “evil” to produce vaccines using fetal cell lines, and added that vaccination “must be voluntary.”
When Church leaders say that there is no principled reason for Catholics to object to the Covid vaccines, or to resist a mandatory vaccination — while citing that very CDF document— they offend against both charity and honesty.
The above comes from a Sept. 15 story by Phil Lawler on Catholic Culture.
The Pope did not mention Cardinal Burke by name but it was assumed that he meant him when he said:
“Even in the College of Cardinals there are some anti-vaxxers—and one of them, poor man, was hospitalized with the virus. Life is ironic.”
Incorrect that the Pope would falsely label a Prince of the Church an anti-vaxxer. Cardinal Burke holds a principled position against specific abortion tainted vaccines and the pope declaring it ironic Burke became ill from covid amounts to Francis jeering him. Most unkind of the Holy Father, not compassionate.
In Italian the pope referred to the cardinal indirectly as a negazionista. the early translation to English rendered it as ‘ deniers’, then shifted to antivaxxers (vatican va often smooths the edges off of Pope Francis’s word choice, i have noticed). Such a misrepresentation to categorize the cardinal’s position as based on something other than the moral principles of complicity in the industrial scale killing of most precious human life.
If you watch the video, it seems obvious that he does not understand this issues.
I was hoping to find that you were wrong about his being unkind but even I who cannot understand the language can see that he is laughing about the vaccine resistant Cardinal getting sick.
Oh well. There always seems to come an issue whenever he takes questions on the planes back from a visit somewhere.
Faith and morals.
Contrary to Mr.Lawler’s claims, the COVID-19 vaccines have been remarkably effective and have saved millions of lives – something that as a pro-life Catholic I especially appreciate.
No vaccine curbs spread of disease in the 47% of the population who are unvaccinated.
Unless you had it and developed natural immunity. According to recent study, “ Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health” 103,000,000 people inUS had covid in 2020. Some of those died but we’ll never know how many of those deaths were due to covid. For example 26 yo Floridian male died in motorcycle crash 2weeks after having covid got counted as a covid death. Recent study out of Oxford shows natural immunity 13-20 times more protective than vax and no booster needed. We must stop the fear mongering or we will never recover. In numbers the same number of people died in 2020 from all causes including covid as died in 2019. That’s is incredibly weird.
I don’t like most of the Papal in-flight interviews with Pope Francis. I did not like the Pope’s insensitive response to the serious Covid-19 illness of Cardinal Burke. The Pope should have expressed his gratitude for the good Cardinal’s recovery, and worry for his health. And I strongly disagreed with the Pope stating that Catholic clerics must take a “pastoral” approach to “bad Catholics” who support Abortion. The subject of Baby Murder is not “political,” either– it is murder. I believe that Catholic clerics have a responsibility to take a stern approach to “bad Catholics” like Pres. Biden and Speaker Pelosi, who firmly support Abortion, up to birth, even. And I believe the Pope must sternly rebuke his Argentinian President, Pres. Alberto Fernandez, for working to legalize Abortion– Baby Murder– in Argentina. He should also rebuke his President for “shacking up” (adultery) with a mistress while still married to his wife– and flying to the Vatican with his mistress. The couple should be prohibited from having special Masses offered for them at the Vatican, and prohibited from reception of Holy Communion– and told by the Pope to go to Confession, and get their lives right with God. That is the Pope’s duty to God, in his sacred role.
I started to think a little more on this subject. I think the anti-Catholic media is unfair to the Pope– and distorts what he says– and also, they might try to “trick” the Pope. I don’t think we are given a clear picture, by the media, most of the time, on these interviews.
Your sentence -The subject of Baby Murder is not political-it is murder- is exactly what the Pope said.
I don’t know anything about argentina president but our President just said that he does not believe that life begins at conception.
It was explained to us that you have to assume that life begins at the earliest possible moment unless you can prove absolutely that it begins at another point.
When else would it start?
Your approach would work on me. But it backfires on a lot of people.
The approach you are speaking of would not work on Biden. He will just assume the role of victim of Republican influences in the Church. Christ said not to pull up the weeds because you might pull up some of the wheat with it. Let them grow to maturity and at harvest, the angels will take the weeds and burn them and the wheat will go on to eternal life.
We need to pray and make sacrifices that no souls will be lost.
me– I really have no answers to today’s serious problems in our Church. I am just a layman. It is just that our Church leaders write and talk a lot, and much of it is good– but really, they take no concrete action, to tackle tough, immoral situations. And Canon Law is usually ignored. I was expecting more, from our Church leaders– but I know that nothing further can be expected. Just more talking and writing, on these serious problems.
The Immaculate Heart of Mary is the answer. Pray the Rosary daily.
Recently, the President of the Republic of Ireland, Michael Higgins, met with Pope Francis. Higgins led his country to the legalization of abortion, and is famous for omitting all references to God and Christ in his yearly Christmas speeches, which has outraged many Irish citizens. He refuses to discuss the subject of his religious beliefs. The Pope, upon his recent meeting with Higgins, praised him for being g a “wise leader” of his country, in today’s world.
President Higgins also famously got same-sex “marriage” legalized in the Republic of Ireland.
Over half the Covid cases seeking life-saving treatment in Florida are fully-vaccinated.
The vaccine is a lie.
Those promoting it will never change their minds because they’re so deep in the propaganda and can’t humble themselves to face the truth that they have been not only wrong but duped by the elites this whole time.
Someone claiming to be a nurse put that on Facebook but it is not true.
Most of the cases are unvaccinated, next partially vaccinated.
The numbers in Florida are spiking partly because of unvaccinated 18-44 year olds who party.
Pray for everyone who has this terrible disease.
Dear “Lie”: Even the Republican Governor of Florida knows better & says the vaccines are saving lives. Please do not spread lies. CCD editors: Please do not allow outright lies to be promulgated on your site.
“As Gov. Ron DeSantis touted the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines during a Wednesday news conference, fewer than half of Floridians have been fully vaccinated — problematic because cases are rising, spurred by more contagious variants.
The governor was in St. Petersburg discussing red tide issues, but veered off topic when a reporter asked about the status of the COVID pandemic.
“Here’s what I think is the most important thing with the data: if you are vaccinated, fully vaccinated, the chance of you getting seriously ill or dying from COVID is effectively zero…and so, these vaccines are saving lives. They are reducing mortality.”
The governor also said that most people being admitted to hospitals are not fully vaccinated.
According to data from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), not even half of Floridians are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The data show that 47.9 percent of Florida’s population are fully vaccinated, slightly lower than the nationwide average of 48.8 percent.
Not counting U.S. territories, 20 states and the District of Columbia are at 50 percent or higher for vaccinations in their states, according to the CDC.
Of concern is that more than half of Floridians are at risk of contracting COVID and could potentially suffer severe illness because they are unvaccinated. “
Today I was very startled, because a young fellow happenned to mention to his father, after Mass, “do you think the Pope has been flirting with leaving the priesthood, or flirting with leaving the Church– or did he ever do that, when he was young? Because he really does not like the Church, or believe in it– and you can just tell! So, does that mean he might leave it?” I had to keep a straight face, turn, and walk quickly in the other direction.
My post of Sept. 20th at 1:08am was strangely edited. The reason I was walking away is that I was ready to burst into laughter, in church, upon hearing this young fellow’s remark about the Pope.
That is silly. Glad you did not laugh at him.
No, me– the youngster’s remark was very funny! But I did not want to burst into laughter, in church!