Word from Rome: No Interdict Just Yet
We got a report back this week from Bishop McCormack's ad limina visit to Rome, in which he reports that the Holy See feels that the USCCB policy on the denial of communion is consistent with their own position:
Referring to the congregation by its former name, Bishop McCormack said, "The Holy Office thinks the statement the U.S. bishops made (in June) does agree with and complement the statement of Cardinal (Joseph) Ratzinger, even though some people want to believe it doesn't."
Cardinal Ratzinger, congregation prefect, sent the bishops a letter before their June meeting outlining the circumstances under which a bishop or priest could deny Communion to Catholic politicians who consistently support abortion. While making it clear that those who cooperate with evil should not present themselves for Communion, the [USCCB Statement] said that the decision to publicly impose sanctions on a person, such as announcing the person would be denied Communion, rests with each bishop in his own diocese.
Cardinal Ratzinger's statement 'has been misrepresented' by people on both sides -- those who think such politicians always should be publicly condemned and those who think bishops have no right to point out the sinfulness of supporting abortion, Bishop Losten said. The congregation meeting, he said, underlined that 'each bishop has to discern and follow the dictates of his pastoral judgment' on whether to deny Communion to a specific individual.
Now, this isn't really news. Ratzinger gave his explicit blessing
to the USCCB Statement
in July as well. We've had nay-saying from the beginning, of course, with the USCCB statement roundly condemned as heresy by all sides. Back in June I gave my own assessment
, which concluded that the USCCB statement was, comparatively speaking, a theologically and pastorally sound judgment, hardly the cop-out that everyone claimed it was.
So, contrary to the prophets of doom, it looks like we shouldn't hold our breath for the Holy See to excommunicate or put under the interdict any bishops for their compliance the USCCB policy. To the contrary, all the evidence points to the Holy See's eager embrace of this policy.
# posted by Jamie : 1:27 PM