Dropping of Cardinal Burke from congregation signals no chance of communion ban for pro-abort Irish politicians

Pope Francis’ dropping of Cardinal Burke from the Congregation for Bishops signals that there is no chance of pro-abortion Irish politicians such as Enda Kenny will not be denied Holy Communion for legalising the killing of babies through abortion. The reason for this scandalous conclusions is the rejoicing of dissenting US Catholics at the dropping of Cardinal Burke and the promotion of Cardinal Wuerl.

LifeSiteNews reports:

‘Left-leaning Vatican reporters pounced on the news of Burke’s ouster and Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl’s appointment at the Congregation of Bishops as evidence that Pope Francis has sided with an approach which would not withhold communion.  The controversy is severe as both Popes Benedict and John Paul II insisted on the discipline as required by the Catholic Church’s canon law.

At the leading US dissident National Catholic Reporter, Michael Sean Winters gloated in a post covering Wuerl’s replacement of Burke on the Congregation for Bishops. “Wuerl has stood up to those who argued he should deny communion within the archdiocese to politicians who did not support the Church’s stance on neuralgic issues,” he wrote. “Wuerl correctly understood that denying communion to politicians was lousy theology.”

Rocco Palmo of the famous blog Whispers in the Loggia called it ‘extrordinary’ that Wuerl “has replaced his historic rival” meaning Burke, linking to coverage of their opposing views on the matter.  Palmo calls Wuerl, the “lead voice of the majority of the American bench opposed to public denial of the Eucharist to those politicians whose platforms don’t square with definitive church teaching.”

Where Pope Francis actually stands on the issue is not fully clear.

From the appointments and his recent writings however, Pope Francis does seem to be leaning in Wuerl’s direction on the matter.  In his recent exhortation, The Gospel of Joy, Pope Francis wrote, “The Eucharist, although it is the fullness of sacramental life, is not a prize for the perfect, but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.”

And in the very latest off-the-cuff interview, published in La Stampa Saturday, the Pope said similarly. “I spoke about baptism and communion as spiritual food that helps one to go on; it is to be considered a remedy not a prize,” he said. “We must try to facilitate people’s faith, rather than control it. Last year in Argentina I condemned the attitude of some priests who did not baptise the children of unmarried mothers. This is a sick mentality.”

Cardinal Burke has recently explained his position on the importance of upholding canon 915:

‘In the interview with Cardinal Burke which aired Thursday on EWTN, host Raymond Arroyo asked the Cardinal if he’d ever considered pulling back due to the “scorn” he has experienced over the years “for that clear teaching” on denying Holy Communion to pro-abortion politicians. “Do you ever stop and say maybe I should back off a little bit?,” asked Arroyo.

“I’ve thought about it because I’ve received very severe criticism both at the time… that I was insisting on applying the discipline and also my writing and another situations,” replied Burke. “But I have to say that I think about again the discipline itself and it’s a consistent discipline from the time of St. Paul from the very first years of the Church and it makes perfect sense. In fact, it makes such fundamental sense that I can’t feel badly about it or question.”

“The question in my mind is ‘Why don’t more people understand this?’” added Cardinal Burke. “Because I don’t consider it to be rocket science or any kind of unusual insight it’s something that’s just natural to our faith.”

Protect the Pope comment: In 2007 Cardinal Bergoglio presented pro-life guidelines on behalf of the Argentinian bishops that stated:

“We hope that legislators, heads of government, and health professionals, conscious of the dignity of human life and of the rootedness of the family in our peoples, will defend and protect it from the abominable crimes of abortion and euthanasia; that is their responsibility … We should commit ourselves to ‘eucharistic coherence’, that is, we should be conscious that people cannot receive Holy Communion and at the same time act or speak against the commandments, in particular when abortion, euthanasia, and other serious crimes against life and family are facilitated. This responsibility applies particularly to legislators, governors, and health professionals.”

When will Pope Francis make good this strong position that he made in 2007?



59 comments to Dropping of Cardinal Burke from congregation signals no chance of communion ban for pro-abort Irish politicians

  • Lola

    ‘Why don’t more people understand this?’

    For the simple reason that many have a weak spiritual foundation…and that includes many, many priests. Faithful priests do not need Cardinal Burke or the Holy See to shore up their decision to refuse Holy Communion to pro-abort individuals and groups. Just do it.

  • iggy o'donovan

    Nick I do not know the details behind the Burke/Wuerl story. However even if cardinal Burke had held his position I do not believe it would have made much difference in Ireland as to whether Enda Kenny was to be refused the Eucharist or not. If I am correct no Irish politician has ever been refused the sacraments. Eamon DeValera I think was excommunicated in 1922 but that was for political not doctrinal reasons. He recieved the sacraments all his life.
    No irish bishop (and I do NOT speak for them) will touch this issue. Whatever the rights or wrongs of it at the moment it is a non starter. Kenny will recieve Holy Communion at Christmas as he has always done.By the way can someone tell me if this has been an issue in any other European country?
    Iggy O Donovan

    • Wake Up England

      Father “Iggy” O’Donovan:

      The timbre of your words resonates with glee that Our Lord is being profaned in the Blessed Sacrament in this way.

      You appear to be cock-a-hoop that Enda Kenny and his cohorts make sacrilegious Communions on a weekly basis.

      Do you believe in the doctrine of the Real Presence?

      Have you read Our Lord’s words concerning those who eat and drink unworthily?

      As you have evinced on this blog often before, you consider yourself far too splendid to answer questions (particularly from the laity whom you apparently hold more or less in disdain) therefore “dialogue” is impossible with you; in fact you seem to be the very type of arrogant priest who The Pope is warning us about. A prime example, in fact.

      I find it particularly interesting that you do not answer my very reasonable and relevant question – on a previous tread – asking whether you are a homosexual, father?

      • conrad noll

        Well, Wake Up England (I hadn’t noticed the country was taking a nap but then again I’m not paranoid…), perhaps you would be gracious enough to share your own sexual preferences… as an example you understand, to the bold father(?)iggy?

    • BJC

      Fr Iggy

      “Eamon DeValera I think was excommunicated in 1922 but that was for political not doctrinal reasons.”

      No one can be excommunicated for political reasons, as a Catholic priest you should know this, and your own common sense should tell you this too. Here is the original pastoral letter of the Irish Bishops in 1922 wherein DeValera and others are being told they should not present themselves for Holy Communion. It’s not only being directed at him, but at all people in what the Irish Bishops view was an unjust war and rebellion against legitmate authority. You may personally disagree with that, but it looks like a very doctrinal pastoral letter to me making strong references to murder, looting and calumny. In those distant days, when you hadn’t lost your faith, those are sins against the 5th, 6th and 7th commandments. Rebellion against legitimate authority is an offence against the 4th. Here are a couple of quotes:

      (1) “They carry on what they call a war but which, in the absence of legitimate authority to justify it, is morally only a system of murder and assassination of National Forces – for it must not be forgotten that killing in an unjust war is as much murder before God as if there were no war” (pg 2)

      (2) “But even worse and sadder than this physical ruin is the general demoralisation created by this unhappy revolt – demoralisation especially of the young, whose minds are poisoned by false principles, and their young lives utterly spoiled by early association with cruelty, robbery, falsehood and crime.” (pg2)

      Sorry to say, but your comment here shows the same lack of a grasp of Catholic teaching which is apparent in your rejection of certain Catholic beliefs, e.g. the teaching on contraception. it seems these days you have to teach yourself because our priests don’t know what they talking about. It’s just as well the internet and blogs exist because then we can check who’s talking bs.


      St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles, protect us from bad Bishops

      St. John Vianney, Patron Saint of Pr

  • JabbaPapa [Julian Lord]

    The Authority to deny pro-abort Irish Politicians the Holy Communion resides with their Parish priests and their Bishops — not with the Holy See.

    • Wake Up England

      Jabba Pappa:

      Oh Please!

      Of course the Holy See could intervene. Don’t be silly.

      • JabbaPapa [Julian Lord]

        The Authority resides where I have suggested — but so too of course does the responsibility. This is what those Irish clergy fail to provide …

        • Bob Hayes

          Absolutely! Priests are the same as the rest of us, lay Catholics or popes, whose acts – or omissions – will be judged. Priests will not be able to claim they were ‘only following orders’ on this matter.

    • Michael Petek

      The duty to deny pro-abort Irish politicians is incumbent on everyone from the Pope down. Everyone who gives Holy Communion to these monsters shares in the guilt of their sin of sacrilege.

      Enda Kenny knows that he is bound by the teaching of Evangelium Vitae concerning the categorical reprobation of the wilful killing of an innocent human being at any time after conception. He knows that this teaching is true and that he is guilty of a sin which cries to heaven for vengeance. If he denies that it is true, then he is a heretic and is automatically excommunicated.

      If he is at all ignorant, then the fact that he is a holder of public office prevents him from pleading invincible ignorance. As scripture says, ordinary people may be mercifully forgiven their sins, but those who are highly placed face a ruthless judgement (Wisdom 6).

      The following is for every Irishman and Irishwoman who is a cleric or a lay minister of Holy Communion.

      If you dare to give Holy Communion to Enda Kenny or to anyone else who has not publicly repented of this heinous sin, you will answer for the sin of sacrilege on the Day of Judgement.

      And if anyone with authority in your parish tells you that you must admit Enda Kenny etc to Holy Communion, you must refuse. Even if he is your parish priest. Or your Bishop. Or a Cardinal. Or the Holy Father himself. You must refuse whatever the consequences.

      • Lynda

        This is the truth – and the bishops know it. As for the Taoiseach, he has chosen the path of evil. He invents his own “religion” to facilitate his evil laws and policies.

        • Michael Petek

          Exactly. In November Mr Kenny announced his support for same-sex marriage. This antichrist, this reverser of the truth who calls evil good and good evil, manifestly sins against the Holy Spirit in regard to two of the four sins which cry to heaven for vengeance.

          Then the Bishops strive to outdo this infidel in wickedness by admitting him to Holy Communion in cavalier disregard of the value they ought to put on their own eternal salvation. I used to think that Marilyn Manson was outrageous. Now the Irish Bishops have made him look like Sir John Gielgud. Their punishment will be worse than Enda Kenny’s.

        • Wake Up England


          Hear Hear.

  • Nicolas Bellord

    As I understand it Cardinal Burke is the supreme Judge in the Vatican courts. Maybe he needs more time to attend to that job. The problem in Ireland has surely been a failure to apply Canon Law. I would have thought any crackdown was more likely to come from the Consistory Courts rather than the Congregation of Bishops?

  • William

    While I disagree with the pope’s dismissal of Cardinal Burke, I agree with him using his authority in such a forceful way. It’s to bad Pope Benedict never did that. Pope Benedict made Wuerl a cardinal as well as all the other cardinals who betrayed him in the consistory. Look at how Francis is handling the Franciscans of the Immaculate, it’s horrible to come down so hard on them, but that’s how it’s down. That’s how Benedict should have dealt with the LCWR and the priests in Vienna but he didn’t. Francis is wielding his power much the same way Pope Pius XII did, it’s to bad Pope Benedict never did. If he did maybe we wouldn’t be in this situation.

  • iggy o'donovan

    Nick thanks for raising the “Enda Kenny – Communion” issue. I would ask you and indeed other correspondents to judge whether the response of “Wake up England” to my simple and I believe factual observation of the situation in Ireland today on this matter (Enda Kenny and Holy Communion) is a fair and balanced one.
    Iggy O D

    • Deacon Nick Donnelly

      I would like a reasonable and respectful discussion of the issues raised here, though I realise that passions get raised by such an important issue as abortion and the Eucharist. I don’t think it right to ask others about their sexual orientation on a blog thread, as this is a personal matter that should only be raised by the individual if they judge it appropriate. Make your points forcefully and robustly, but I would encourage you all to stick to the facts of the case, and not attack each other. Deacon Nick

      • Wake Up England

        Deacon Nick:

        Regarding Father O’Donnovan, priest:

        I would ask you and indeed other correspondents to judge whether the response of Father “Iggy” O’Donovan to my simple and I believe factual observation of the situation in Ireland on these matters:

        (to wit: Father O’Donovan’s misrepresentation of Eamon Devalera; Father O’Donovan’s obvious delight that Enda Kenny continues to be given Holy Communion despite Kenny’s scandalous and public mockery of catholic teaching)

        is a fair and balanced one.

        Sorry if I’ve ruffled feathers by asking about this priest’s sexuality. I hadn’t appreciated it was such a sensitive issue.

        Naturally, I assumed (given he wants to see statistics of gay/straight priests) that he would have no problem in being open and frank about his own persuasion. He seems to be expecting other priests to be completely forthcoming; otherwise how could he possibly suppose there ARE any “official statistics”? If he does not think it appropriate to ask this question, how does he suppose the statistics would be compiled?

        Is it fair or balanced to suppose Father O’Donovan is not practising the “openness” he is assuming other priests should display when THEY are asked this question?

        One rule for Father O’Donovan and another for all other priests appears to be his position. Hardly fair, is it?

    • BJC

      Fr Iggy

      “I would ask you and indeed other correspondents to judge whether the response of “Wake up England” to my simple and I believe factual observation of the situation in Ireland today on this matter (Enda Kenny and Holy Communion) is a fair and balanced one.”

      You try to take the moral high ground. Tempers run high when Catholic priests attack their own religion and understandably the Catholic faithful are upset about it. Who after all is paying your rent? Who paid for you to go through seminary? Who is paying your way in the world at this minute? The Catholic faithful that’s who, and what we are expecting to get is a fully trained Catholic priest who will teach us the gospel, not somebody who only half believes it and is happy to spend our money leading a revolt against it. Might I suggest you go and get another job, learn how to support yourself and pay your own bills, and then people might have more respect for you.

      Getting back to your point about WUE not being “fair and balanced”, I don’t see how you are any better. In the article below you use a lot of intemperate and frankly over the top language so you’ve got nothing to big yourself up about, e.g.

      (1) “Even hardened veterans are shaken by the murkiness of the devious world of ecclesiastical politics.”

      (2) ” (Fr) Tony……is persecuted with a zeal that is as pathological as the paranoia that feeds it?”

      (3 )“How has it come to this, that intolerant and extreme right-wingers…”

      Not exactly the words of saint, are they Fr. Iggy? If you think what I’ve written is unfair then please tell me why.


      • Wake Up England


        This article in the Irish Examiner (to which you give a link) is most interesting and turns the limelight onto Father O’Donnovan in a very revealing way. I urge others here to click on the link and read it all for yourselves.

        In light of the Church’s teaching on the ordination of women to the priesthood, Father O’Donnovan, will you now retract your apparent statement (as reported in this piece) that the Church’s refusal to ordain women is “A millstone around our necks”?

        It seems you are unwilling to speak out against the Irish politicians who recently voted to legalise abortion in Ireland.

        It further seems you are unwilling to question these politicians “Right” to receive Holy Communion, notwithstanding the grave seriousness of their collective crime; notwithstanding the church’s teaching on the sanctity of life; and notwithstanding the Church’s stance on receiving Communion whilst in a state of Mortal Sin.

        It is shockingly obvious, in light of the above, that you must, tacitly at least, have sympathy for the concept of abortion, despite the church’s divers teachings to the contrary.

        I think I have every right and, indeed duty, to question publicly your integrity, Father O’Donovan.

        Given that I uphold the teachings of The Church as (summarised in The Catechism) with nothing added and nothing taken away, I find your questioning MY “Fairness” and “Balance” to be both cynical and sinister.

        In my opinion (and it seems the opinions of many other people) you, Father O’Donnovan, are neither an asset to, nor a good example for, of Authentic Catholicism (which is available to all in the Catechism).

        St Patrick protect us from Bad Priests who lead their flocks astray, Amen.

        • Dilly

          “Irish priest disciplined for illicit concelebration (2006)

          An Irish priest who invited a Protestant minister to “concelebrate” Mass on Easter Sunday has been removed from a teaching post in Rome, according to an Irish newspaper report. The Irish Catholic says that Father “Iggy” O’Donovan has been removed from his half-time post teaching history at the Augustinian university in Rome. Father O’Donovan told reporters that he was not aware of any such action. “It is news to me,” he said.

          The Augustinian priest became the focus of controversy, and of a Vatican investigation, after Rev. Michael Graham of the Church of Ireland joined him on the altar for Mass at the Augustinian priory in Drogheda. Earlier this month, Archbishop Sean Brady of Armagh said that an investigation into the incident had been concluded. Father O’Donovan issued an apology and promised to adhere to Church liturgical guidelines in the future. No other disciplinary action had been announced.

          Although officials of the Augustinian order backed Father O’Donovan’s contention that no action had been taken, the Irish Catholic reported that Bishop Rino Fisichella, a Rome auxiliary, had conducted an investigation and decided that Father O’Donovan should be removed from the faculty of the Augustinian university, where he has spent 6 months each year teaching Church history. On Easter Sunday, in what he explained was a gesture to promote an “inclusive” commemoration of Ireland’s Easter Uprising, Father O’Donovan asked Rev. Graham to join him at the altar. The Anglican minister and his parishioners shared Communion with Catholic faithful at the Augustinian priory.”


        • BJC


          I think it is becoming clear that the ACP leadership is split on abortion, although some might say it tacitly supports it but won’t say so. Fr. Tony Flannery won’t give his position and neither will Fr. Brendan Hoban, so I think we know what that means. Fr Iggy claims to be pro-life, which is a relief, but if you listen to the radio interview below it’s far from clear what he means by that. He doesn’t say it out loud, but what he seems to be saying is though personally he is against abortion (from conception?) he still agrees the abortion bill should be passed.

          I notice that Dilly’s post informs us that Fr.Iggy teaches Church history. He’s exactly the sort of liberal priest I’ve been looking for. Assuming Fr. Iggy is still following this thread, I challenge him again to give everybody here 2000 years of quotes from Church history, and coming from every century, demonstrating that the Catholic Church has always and everywhere taught that the use of contraception is not sinful. And please we need the quotes from all the usual sources, i.e. Church Fathers, encyclicals, synods, Councils, saints and Doctors of the Church. On top of that can we have quotes from the Bible supporting the same false teaching.

          If you don’t, Fr Iggy, believe that the two sources of revelation for a Catholic are Holy Scripture and Sacred Tradition (and I suspect you don’t) then can you please supply us with quotes from 2000 years of Church history supporting your false beliefs and again can we have the quotes from the same sources, i.e. Church Fathers, encyclicals, Councils.



          • Wake Up England


            You won’t hear a word from Father O’Donnovan, believe me.

            As we have seen here so often, when the dissident liberal Catholic is asked to explain logically, and publicly, his (or Her) views – they go into a flouncing snit.

            They snap and wriggle and complain everyone’s “down on them” and then they go into a sulky silence for a while.

            It’s so wearily predictable, it’s a joke.

            Toodleoo, Father Donovan. You’ve met your match here, I’m afraid.

          • BJC


            Totally agree. I won’t be holding my breath! We’ve now had Fr. Iggy, Clifford Longley, Chris McDonnell, and other priests and luminaries of the liberal “Catholic” world on here and every time they get challenged they run away. They obviously aren’t the brave sort and their recruitment drive is obviously aimed at the weak minded, the lapsed and the badly prepared. Sorry to say, but these characteristics are something which they have in common themselves.

          • peter

            Contraception: a history of its treatment by the catholic heologians and canonists by John Noonan

            the above book is the most definitive book I have read on the matter and it supports your thesis on contraception.

          • BJC


            Thanks. That’s decent of you.

        • BJC


          Just noticed this quote from a link Lynda left on another post where Fr. Iggy is giving his farewell speech at Drogheda:

          “I cling to my foolish dream when to paraphrase the words of the late Fr George Tyrell, himself a victim of oppression…”

          George Tyrell was a notorious Modernist from the turn of the last century and is often quoted as being the source of British Modernism. He was a Jesuit priest (no surprise there) up at Farm Street in London. He gets a significant mention in the book I’ve mentioned a few times by Phillip Trower, “Truth and Turmoil: The Historical Roots of the Modern Crisis in the Catholic Church”. Given the quote, I would think Fr. Iggy has got very little Catholic belief at all – George Tyrell certainly didn’t have much.



          • Lynda

            Fr O’Donovan is notorious for his continual attacks on Faith and morality and leading people away from the truth as found in the Deposit of Faith. The anti-Catholic Media use him for their agenda all the time. I once took a theology course that he gave – he used his platform to attack Church teaching and promote the false theology of dissidents. He mocked his orthodox students in Rome who complained about what was against Church teaching.

          • BJC


            Thanks, that’s really interesting, but it figures. Fr George Tyrell from what I’ve read basically rejected Catholic teaching root and branch and I suspect if Fr. Iggy was really “open and transparent” about it (which of course he won’t be) then I think we’d find the same thing.

  • Lynda

    The contempt shown for Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist is beyond words. The sacrilege and scandal reverberate throughout the Church. Mortal sin upon mortal sin. The culpability of the bishops is extremely grave – as well as their own souls they are causing the loss of countless others. Lord, please end this demonic mockery of Your Most Holy Body and Blood. The stones are crying out.

    • When the bould Iggy was on the late late with Ireland’s answer to Oprah Winfield (notGayasfarasiknow Byrne), back in the 1990s, he was music to the ears of a studio full of matriarchal puffed-up Irish biddies who scoffed at Fr O’Hanlon for speaking the truth.

      Fr David O’Hanlon, a real priest and brilliant theologian, on the other hand gets banished to oblivion for having the guts to take them all on…

  • Michael Petek

    Could somebody please get the Catholic pro-life movement in Ireland gather round for a council of war.

    Round up a posse of people who can, in numbers, attend Mass which one of these creepy little pro-abort/pro-gay politicians regularly attends and receives Holy Communion. Take whatever opportunity presents itself to mount the pulpit before Mass begins and bid the selfsame politician welcome.

    Then announce that if anyone dares to give him/her Holy Communion, then the congregation is invited to walk out in protest at this act of sacrilege.

    That’ll learn ‘em.

  • buckle

    The key issue in America might be the 2004 presidential election when Cardinal Ratzinger was dragged into this debate surrounding the democratic nomination of catholic John Kerry. There was discomfort for the then Archbishop of Washington which was compounded by empirical data which suggested that Catholics in swing states (including hispanics) voted Bush influenced by this mysterious and unknown German cardinal who merely responded to questions about a catholic candidate and did not intervene directly at all in the process. This, however, was not how it was presented by the NYT and other American media outlets fresh from their triumph over the sex scandals. This presentation backfired as the 2004 results demonstrate and the American hierarchy were themselves left dumbfounded and embarrassed by this spontaneous eruption of Catholic sectarianism by their own people.

  • SteveD

    “Where Pope Francis actually stands on the issue is not fully clear.” I think that it is NOW

  • John

    Dear all, I take an orthodox position on issues of faith and morals and am highly critical of priests and theologians who step outside the parameters of the magisterium as found, for example, in the Catechism. However, I also think there is room for different interpretations of the way in which we approach these questions, i.e. the Church’s pastoral approach. Although Pope Francis strikes me as somewhat naive in trusting the western media to give his words the correct interpretation, nevertheless he is still our Pope and we should respect the moves he is making to reform the Church’s governance structures. None of the people he has appointed to the Congregation of Bishops could be described as a ‘liberal’, even the one many commenters here seem to dislike intensely – Archbishop Nichols. I think it is important to keep a sense of perspective and, if the orthodox voice is to taken seriously, to refrain from ad hominem attacks.

  • ms Catholic state

    If it is prohibited for a divorced and remarried Catholic to receive Holy Communion…….then surely it should be so for a pro abort politician. Personally I think it should be banned to cohabiting couples too. It would serve as a jolt to rectify this sinful situation…..and prevent it from occurring in the first place.

    • Michael Petek

      Pope Francis has only recently said that the exclusion of a divorced and remarried couple from Holy Communion is not a punishment. It is related to the objective discordance of their situation with the mystery of Christ as His Church. If the couple were convinced in their consciences that they are truly married on the particular facts of their case, then they would not on that ground alone be in a state of mortal sin. They are simply indisposed to receive Holy Communion.

      A pro-abortion politician is in a different situation. God holds him to higher and stricter standards of probity because of his public responsibilities. Either he lies to the Holy Spirit against the truth of reason regarding the sin of murder, or he sins mortally by voting with full advertence of the mind and with full consent of the will in a grave matter. In either case he is a high-handed evildoer whose depraved conscience is manifest.

    • The impression I get is that there is an intention to change moral theology in respect of the sacraments so that in future mortal sins will no longer be an obstacle to receiving Holy Communion. So not only will pro-death politicians be able to continue receiving, but adulterers and fornicators will also be encouraged to receive as well. This is the line the German bishops are taking already and he who pays the piper calls the tune.

      • Mark Thorne

        Dear Deacon Augustine, I am sure you are right in your impression that there may be a change effected for moral theology in respect of the sacraments so that in future mortal sins will no longer be an obstacle to receiving Holy Communion. If the Eucharist is a “medicine” that “is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak”, as Pope Francis has expressed it in Evangelii Gaudium, then clearly he may be thinking along similar lines. While the Eucharist does effect forgiveness for venial sins, for the more serious ones I would have said that the Sacraments of Confession/Anointing of the Sick were the “medicinal” sacraments for “healing”, but who am I to judge? The Catechism of the Catholic Church would no longer be the authoritative guide for Catholic living – “Living in Christ” – but a kind of “self-help” book you can dip into to see what seems appealing to you. Conscience will be the factor which overrides everything else – whatever you are “getting up to” will simply be judged as a movement of the Spirit working in you.

        • Nicolas Bellord

          There will no be a change. Pope Francis says communion is “a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak” and there is nothing wrong with that. Communion is the bread of life and in taking communion one receives grace: a remedy and nourishment in our fight against our sinfulness. There is no point in taking a remedy unless you want to be well and are fighting and determined to try not to sin again. If you are not prepared to abandon your sinful ways then “he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord.” If you are in mortal sin then you must reconcile yourself with God first in confession.

          No Pope or Synod can change that teaching and they will not do so. What I reckon will happen is that their will be a recommendation for better spiritual counselling on an individual basis to see whether an annulment is possible or the internal forum theory can be applied.

    • What do you mean “personally I think it should be banned to cohabiting…”

      It is!

      That should be the end of the story!

  • Here’s the problem with the Canon 915 campaign if you ask me …from a political perspective.
    It singles out only those politicians who’s votes matter.

    If you’re in Ireland and there’s a movement to legalise abortion then you get the sacraments withdrawn and maybe even excommunicated.

    If you’re a politician who’s in a country that already has abortion though there’s little or no pressure on you to bring forward legislation to even lower the time limit against abortion.

    Also it seems to be having a go at politicians over the voters who put them there.
    Who really is the most to blame? Should it not be a two-pronged campaign?
    But of course voting is in secret so you cannot know who really supports abortion amongst the layity to chastise them…?

    It just seems to me that politically it is all about one tool – when there are many other tools in the toolbox.

    • Deacon Nick Donnelly

      Thanks Anthony, this is a useful reflection on the issue. Deacon Nick

      • Michael Petek

        My reflection on the matter arises from a sense of wonder that David Cameron, who expressed no particular preoccupation with establishing same-sex marriage before he became Prime Minister suddenly began to express an enthusiasm for it as strong as a North Korean’s for Kim Il-Sung.

        Might one venture that a man who acquires the office of Prime Minister falls into mortal sin as soon as he fails or refuses to revoke the licenses of every abortion clinic in the land?

        Might one venture that, having fallen into that sin of omission, he becomes possessed by demons of homosexuality?

        • Lynda

          They are bowing to extraneous masters. Ditto in Ireland. Fine Gael were elected in March 2011 promising us that they would not legalise the killing of our brothers and sisters still in utero. They would never have mentioned any intention to give public recognition or status to sexual relations between two persons of the same sex (which are objectively perverse to nature).

  • Bob Hayes

    In the interests of charity would it not be better to relieve Iggy O’Donovan, Tony Flannery and co. of the pressures of ‘persecution’, a ‘millstone’ and the ‘pathological’ Church? Surely, if they were laicised they would feel liberated and be able to fully pursue their evident coveting of media celebrity.

  • BenYachov

    So much wrong with this hysterical post.


    The Pope appointed untra-conservative Cardinal Marc Oullet. What are we to make of that? He is at war with conservatives yet appoints them?

    Maybe internal and external politics have nothing to do with his choices and they are merely pastoral?

    Ya think?!!??!

    Oy Vey!

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