Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Jesuits Square Off On Television

Two Jesuits have appeared on a prime-time news CNN program to debate the appropriateness of the reception of Holy Communion by pro-abortion politicians. Commenting on the recent controversy between Bishop Thomas Tobin and Rep. Patrick Kennedy, Father Thomas Reese, supported the reception of Holy Communion by pro-abortion politicians, citing the example of “most of the bishops in the United States” and the fact that “Pope John Paul II gave Communion to pro-choice politicians in Italy.”
Father Mitch Pacwa responded, “During his reign he had legislation that was put out by the office for the defense of the faith [the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith] that said politicians who are pro-abortion may not receive Holy Communion. That is Church policy … In terms of what the pope knew about this person coming to Communion and so on, I don't know.”
“It's important to make a distinction between people who are pro abortion and people who are pro choice,” Father Reese countered. “Within the last couple of months, the editor of L’Osservatore Romano, the Pope's newspaper, made the statement that he did not think that President Obama was pro-abortion. And this upset people in the United States. They wanted him fired. Well, he's still in his job.”
Link (here) to the Catholic Culture piece.


Anonymous said...

Reese makes me laugh. He may as well have said, "it is important to distinguish between people who are pro-slavery and those who are pro-choice for slavery." A vastly overrated thinker.

Jean-Francois Thomas S.J said...

What happened to us, Jesuits all around the world, more and less 50 years ago ?From light to blindness? From obedience and fidelity to opposition and wandering in darkness ? I would like to understand the cause of such a revolution, so fast. So many among us are so good in using casuistry to defend what should not be. We are companions of Jesus, not companions of the Deceiver.
By the way, the Osservatore Romano is not the newspaper of the Pope. It has never been.One cannot use any article written there to assert that it is the Church position.
More penance and prayer to free us from our pride and sin.

TonyD said...

Fr Thomas,

While we may disagree on the details, we agree on intent.

I wish it were as easy as penance or prayer or miracles to free ourselves from pride and sin, but it is not that easy. While God can do that, it undermines the lessons we are here to learn. In general, we can only get help on problems when we have grown to a place to be helped. If someone is already quite sure that they recognize or understand good or evil then they are typically not at such a place.

In my own life, I’ve found that prayer is amazingly effective. It was only through answered prayers that I now understand that good and evil are far more complex than I had ever imagined. While there are simple truths – God uses evil to his ends, pure evil is real, and we should avoid evil – they are like the truths you tell children – don’t cross the road, don’t go near a stove, always hold my hand. And while I offer no other details on evil, I can say that we should be wary of becoming those who cannot hear God’s voice.

Anonymous said...

Reese won this one.

Anonymous said...

I have yet to hear any politician, Catholic or non-Cathlic, say that they are in favor of abortion. They are all "personally opposed, but..." And they do absolutely nothing to discourage or lower the number of abortions. When does Fr. Reese stop playing this charade and view things objectively?

TonyD said...

Anonymous 4:31pm,

The personal position of politicians should not matter. This is akin to “the divine right of Kings” and a "Church led by God". The leaders, whether King or Pope, are there to represent others. In the case of Kings and Popes, they are there to represent God, regardless of their own beliefs.

While we no longer have appropriate leadership, the situation with politicians is analogous. We want people to represent our society, not impose their perspectives.