Friday, December 4, 2015


When a Lutheran Roman woman asked Pope Francis about her receiving Holy Communion in her Catholic Roman husband's Church, Pope Francis carefully told her he could not give permission (I'm paraphrasing here!). However, if you bring this to the Lord and in conscience feel you should go forward go forward (I'm paraphrasing here!).

Well, priests have consciences too. If I had a Protestant spouse who presented himself for Holy Communion, I wouldn't make a scene but I would discuss the reasons why. In good conscience I would tell him or her that she or he shouldn't recieve Holy Communion but may seek a blessing at Communion time. I would tell the spouse that in good conscience I could not give them Holy Communion but would offer a blessing instead.

Then I would insist that if the non Catholic spouse wants to receive Holy Communion in the Catholic Church that our good Lord must be calling her to full Communion with the Church and I would recommend catechesis and full communion through profession of faith, Confirmation and then Holy Communion.

But in good conscience I could not give non-Catholics Holy Communion on a regular basis unless they availed themselves to a canonical process and ultimately my bishop approved of them receiving.


Gene said...

"The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked (Jer. 17)." We cannot follow our conscience because it is tainted by concupiscence. That is why we have CCC, Priests, and Catechism. Our hearts must be trained to the Gospel and to following Christ...even then, with all the best efforts of the Church, we fail over and over again. For a Priest, much less a Pope, to make such a statement is absolutely flabbergatsing. It reflects no understanding of Holy Scripture, theology, dogma, Christology, or anything else. I cannot conceive of a more protestant statement.

Anonymous said...

Fr. McD, it looks like Edward Pentin is going to have another Vatican scandal to write. Rorate has a new article with insight from Fr. Pio Pace, who has been accurate on everything the last 2 years, that the post synodal document has been ready since September, and was written by Baldiserri, Forte, et al, to favor the Kasperite proposal, all under the guise of the Year of Mercy! I guess we now know why the synod and holy year were called, and it's turning out to be quite the unholy year

Anonymous said...

Well there he goes again, Francis please don't call me "Pope" gave an interview with Credere magazine which Rorate blog site is reporting that the Roman Catholic Church is at fault AGAIN. He calls the Church "Mother and Father", why does he just call it Gaia the earth goddess, that would make it a lot easier for all. Dear friends, like our dear leader the traitor Obama there is something fundamentally wrong with Francis it is not OUR PIOUS AND TRADITIONAL PRIESTS who need help but him, the ARGENTINE nightmare continues unabated. Burke, Ranjith, Sarah, Schneider, Pell, anybody please intervene before he destroys the Church anymore than he has!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jusadbellum said...

There's a perhaps apocryphal account of the British in India, where a British general is confronted with the Hindu practice of tossing live widows on the pyres of their dead husbands.

The Brit ordered it stopped but was told by the Indians that it was their custom so they were going to keep doing it whether the Brits liked it or not.

To which he is supposed to have replied "fine, then once you conduct your custom we will conduct ours. I will have a gallows constructed next to your pyres. Then after you proceed with your custom, I will proceed with mine and hang any man who murders a woman in that way".

It struck me as a fair two way street to proceed. You do your thing, and I'll do mine. A nice check and balance.

OK, so you want a gay pride parade to broadcast your disdain of my religion? Of my sensibilities? OK, fine. I'll do the same and malign and impune and make fun of your values and sacred cows.

OK, so you want the right to preach a secular hedonist sex ed in public schools? OK, well as a member of the public, I demand the right to have a Catholic world view presented in sex ed in public schools.

OK, so you want the right to attack anyone who insults the Prophet? Fine, then we will exercise our rights to self-defense. You follow your conscience and I'll follow mine.

Jenny said...

Father, it might be helpful if you answered Gene's post at 7:19? He makes a salient point, I think, if I'm reading him correctly. I would add: Why bother with the Sacrament of Confession? Could you help us out here?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Jenny while it is dismaying that Pope Francis continues to give ambiguous statements in off-the-cuff ways, these are not magisterial teachings and yes we can criticize the content of what he says if it isn't clear.

The Church's catechism is magisterial and Pope Francis hasn't changed it by decree and his off-the-cuff statements don't change it either.

Mortal sin is:
A. serious matter
B. sinner must know it is a sin
C. He commits the sin with forethought and full consent of the will--it isn't a spontaneous reaction to some other stimuli in other words or one is forced or drunk or psychologically incapacitated.

We cannot follow any off-the-cuff statement from any pope or bishop if it contradicts magisterial teachings and the catechism is one of the highest forms of magistrial teachings. Off-the-cuff remarks are not magisterial at all.

Gene said...

But, Fr., the issue is his statement about conscience. That is a protestant statement...conscience, sola scriptura, and a "personal relationship" with Jesus Christ. That is not Catholic by any stretch. Our consciences, even redeemed, must be guided by the Church and maintained by the Sacraments. God does not "cast us out over twenty thousand fathoms" to sink or swim on our own in matters of faith and morals. Many moral decisions are subtle and very difficult and need the guidance and prayers of the Church, the Faithful, and a devout Priest. I consider myself theologically and Biblically well-educated, devout, and reasonably discerning. But, I have turned to Priests, including you, on several occasions regarding a difficult moral issue or decision. Christians need this from an Apostrolic/ Magisterial source upon which they can depend, not a protestant preacher or a lonely Bible with no magisterial guidance.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of your bishop, is there any diocesan policy about priests endorsing political candidates? I say this after seeing a story about a priest in South Carolina endorsing Ted Cruz for the GOP presidential nomination.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I don't know if there is a policy or not, however, the Church could loose its tax free status if politics are preached, although we all know how African American Churches seem to get away with it and regularly and in a high profile way.

I think it is unwise for church officials to endorse candidates and counterproductive. That doesn't mean I can't share who I will vote for privately but I would simply endorse Faithful Citizenship and ask Catholics to read it and then go to the polls. Sometimes it is the lesser of evils.

Jusadbellum said...

I agree that it's a bad idea to preach politics - to say "vote for candidate X".

But, and here I differ from Fr. K, I don't see how any Catholic in good conscience can vote for any national level politician who subscribes to the DNC platform. I get that the local mayor or sheriff, an assembly person or other local elected official may have nothing at all to do with the national party's platform and may in fact be working within the system to change it. But once you get to the national level for House, Senate and POTUS, you must perforce sign off on upholding that platform.

Last time I checked it, the DNC official party platform is explicitly in favor of a) contraception mandates, b) abortion on demand c) sodomy praised and promoted as official US foreign policy, in the military, in public education, and in regulatory expression in ever more local settings such as bathrooms and language codes that effectively silence any verbal disagreement as "discrimination". d) euthanasia and e) embryo-killing research.

Thus you have a party explicitly for 5 categories of intrinsically evil acts that never have a justification and can not be 'made right' by pointing to some ulterior good fruits.

Against this the GOP for all its warts and waffles, all its cowardices and stupidities, has nothing. Not one intrinsic evil is explicitly called for in the RNC platform.

So while it's noble to claim one must vote for the National Socialist Worker's Party so as to make the trains run on time, it's not sufficient to offset the NSWP's option for genocide. Being "for" immigrants, or poverty mitigation is splendid. But not at the price of apostasy.

George said...

Gene is correct in that advocating for the principle of the "primacy or inviobility of the conscience above all else", is a position which is effectively protestantistic. What I have read and heard about lately in this regard is essentially a mis-application of the principle. I would ask those who use this as an argument for the position they favor, "What exactly do you mean by what you are advocating? Who, according to this principle, would you or could you deny the Eucharist to?". It is up to the clergy to convey to those who are oblivious or ignorant of moral law, that if they are doing something which violates
God's Holy Commandments, then they are wrong even if in their own spiritual state, they believe themselves to be right. There is an objective as well as subjective component to many transgressions. A depraved person who murders someone may subjectively feel justified (if the person feels anything at all),
but objectively another person is dead because of what transpired.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Gene says - "That is why we have the CCC...". Yet you reject the CCC when it forbids the killing of non-combatants in war.

You further state, " Our consciences must be guided by the Church..." yet you choose to ignore the Church, saying it is "unreasonable.

How can you, with a straight face, refer to the CCC as a source of teaching that Catholics are obliged to follow?

Rood Screen said...

Father Kavanaugh,

I commend you on your determination to root out all heresy from among the faithful.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

JBS - I am not determined to "root out all heresy from among the faithful." That is not my task, my calling, nor my motivation.