Excommunication; The ultimate in Ecclesial Punishment!
The CCC describes excommunication by opening with this precept; “Certain particularly grave sins incur excommunication, the most severe ecclesiastical penalty, which impedes the reception of the sacraments and the exercise of certain ecclesiastical acts, and for which absolution cannot be granted, according to canon law, except by the Pope, the bishop of the place or priests authorized by them. In danger of death any priest, even if derived of faculties for hearing confessions, can absolve from every sin and excommunication.” CCC 1463
Even here in the most grievous infraction the Church still wishes for each soul to find its way back to God’s loving forgiveness. In spite of our human desires to turn away from God by ignoring the rules, no matter how much they interfere with our own wayward attempts to control our lives, the requirements are there not to control us but to guide us towards God. We often think of the Ten Commandments as a requirement for the Hebrews as they made their way out of Egypt. Somewhere, those rules got lost and centuries later are just for those who God handed on to Moses.
Today, with the current political extravaganza going on in Washington and the adverse decisions regarding abortions and the attitude towards the right to life our direction as a church must take a positive approach towards those who are in leadership roles and advocate abortion must be censored.
At least to forbid them from receiving the Holy Eucharist without Sacramental Confession and a resolve to stand up for right to life including not giving credence to abortions. Recently, Nancy Pelosi lost her position as Speaker of the House and her position as a prominent Washington Magnate may lose its power, but much damage has already been done. The other
Washington figure is the president and he should be brought to answer to the Church and also make reparation for his stand on abortion. As Roman Catholic, his sin stands out as a prominent assault on the Ten Commandments to the right to life.
When we sin, our path to forgiveness is wide open. But when our attitude is hung-up politically and choose to do what we feel is ok as long as we don’t harm anyone is a direct insult to Catholicism and to God himself. Do not use politics in deciding moral decisions that can have devastating results for those who choose to follow a leader who knows the difference between right and wrong and throws all caution to the wind.
Centuries ago excommunication was handed down on catholics for less serious infractions, yet here we are with government officials needing to be brought before ecclesial interaction that seem to drift along because of status, politically.
We as Church must demand an accounting for the moral degradation our Catholic politicians are perpetrating upon an already weakened Catholic Populace due to scandals. Silence becomes a cancer which will become a diagnosis for amputation.
Ralph B. Hathaway