Why do I read NCR?
In a July 9 letter to Washington Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, head of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, put to rest speculation that his views were misrepresented or that the U.S. bishops acted contrary to Vatican wishes in their recent statement on Catholics in political life. (Washington Notebook, July 7).
Unsaid: 'His [McCarrick's] views,' as represented in his 'Interim Reflections' are neither approved nor even mentioned in Ratzinger's letter.
"The statement is very much in harmony with the general principles [of] 'Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion,' sent as a fraternal service -- to clarify the doctrine of the Church on this specific issue - in order to assist the American bishops in their related discussion and determinations," wrote Ratzinger.
Unsaid: 'The statement' being referred to is not McCarrick's document but that produced by the full body of bishops, i.e. 'Catholics in Political Life.' As I've argued, this document represents not a reflectin of McCarrick's views, but a departure from them.
The U.S. bishops' statement said that it was the responsibility of each bishop to decide in his own diocese how to respond to Catholic pro-choice politicians, including whether or not they should be denied communion. The 183-6 vote in favor of the statement made clear, however, that the vast majority of bishops do not favor withholding communion from pro-choice Catholic politicians.
Unsaid: Since the statement made no such proposal, i.e. to discourage the denial of communion, such a reading is impossible. The most that can be said is that the vast majority of bishops do not favor a general policy of denying communion. Rather, they prefer to leave the decision to the ordinary.
# posted by Jamie : 10:00 AM