Tuesday, June 22, 2004

"A Time for Honesty" A Pastoral Statement by The Most Reverend John J. Myers

This is a must read "A Time for Honesty"

9 comments:

das said...

On the whole, I agree with the comments of Archbishop Myers. God's truth is truth. I do have a couple of thoughts, though, in response: 1. Where does forgiveness come into play? Can a sinful man receive communion? We are all sinful. And 2. Is there a line to draw in quoting scripture vs. living a good life according to the spirit of the Word? The pharisees and scribes were great at following the letter of the law, but not always the spirit. They loved to quote it. Sometimes I get a little nervous when we quote scripture, interpret it and law down the law in specifics, then sit in judgment. We need guidelines to live by, but do we all know, with 100 percent certainty, what the spirit of the Word is? We need to try, but we need to admit that that's what we're doing. And that we're not really better or holier than anyone else. We're all just striving to serve God in the best way we can. Preserving life is an essential effort. So is embracing all, despite their sinfulness, as children of God.

Nick France said...

You ask, can a sinful man receive communion? The short answer is yes, but only after he reconciles his sins with Jesus through sacrament of reconciliation. There's your forgiveness. Christ is always ready and eager to forgive. There is also a difference between moral sin and manifest, persistent sin.

The Word is quite clear on this one. I admit, I don't always have all the exegetical answers, but 1 Corinthians leaves little to wonder about. “This means that whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily sins against the body and blood of the Lord. A man should examine himself first; only then should he eat of the bread and drink of the cup. He who eats and drinks without recognizing the body eats and drinks a judgment on himself” (1 Cor 11: 27-29).

das said...

Perhaps Senators John Kerry and Edward Kennedy have gone to confession, and have examined themselves, and found themselves worthy to receive. What then? Are we worthy to sit in judgment of these men? Or maybe we should just judge ourselves? Maybe only God can judge.

Nick France said...

Senators Kerry and Kennedy may very well have gone to confession. But that doesn't give them the right to persist and continue to commit the same sin over and over. One should refrain from sinning again. This is what is meant by manifest, persistent sin. I'm not talking about your garden variety , moral sin. I'm talking about intrinsically evil sin here.

When you say "we" as in are "we" worthy to sit in judgement, do you mean you and I, or are you referring to the bishops? You... who considered the priesthood should recognize Apostolic succession. The bishops are leading their flock. That's their job bro. You and I do not have the right to judge, you are right about that my friend. Lord I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed.

The Church is very wise, Canon 951 is quite clear on this, and it's deeply rooted in sacred Scripture, such as 1 Cor.

das said...

I agree with you for the most part. Despite my interest in the priesthood, I am not as well-versed on church law and Scripture as you are. That's commendable. But I know God, "came to call sinners" and I think ate and spent time with tax collectors and prostitutes. He focused on the spirit of the law, not the law. God's hope is that we turn away from sin. I think the senators don't see themselves as intrinsically evil. On the contrary, they think they are doing the right thing on their votes on public policy. The Kennedy family has a track record of helping the less fortunate and in public service. It's a mixed bag, my friend, and I have a hard time labeling someone as evil when other actions in their lives would indicate otherwise.

Nick France said...
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Nick France said...

I'm not calling them evil. I'm saying the act of abortion is intrinsically evil. If they don't think abortion is evil than why do they claim to be "personally opposed."

The Church has many social teachings and the teaching on abortion is only one of them. However this issue is certainly at the top of the list and how to deal with it shouldn't be disputable if you are a Catholic in full communion with the Church. All other issues can be disputed among reasonable Catholics in a civil manner.

I understand your point about the way Jesus never turned away a sinner and walked and taught among sinners. I think Jesus is talking to them now – today, but they're not listening. Too bad, it is after all the body and blood of Christ we're talking about. Listen, no one wants to keep the Eucharist from them. In fact, we all want them at the Lords table. We just want them to stop supporting abortion.

das said...

Agreed. Should we treat supporters of the death penalty the same way?

Ken said...

Time Magazine reports:

"The Pope has explicitly connected executions with abortion as part of the 'culture of death.' But church teaching on abortion is 'definitive': Catholics must obey it as an act of faith. Teaching on capital punishment is merely 'authentic,' meaning believers may bring reason to bear on the issue. The church's catechism calls abortion an absolute evil but hedges on the death penalty, quoting the Pope as saying cases necessitating it 'are very rare, if not practically nonexistent.' And canon law includes a penalty of excommunication for abortion but none for aiding state-sanctioned executions."

Please see Abortion in Church and Politics for more information.