Friday, November 07, 2008

Why the Difference?

We get visiting groups who want to say Mass here from time to time, today we had Fr Dennis O'Brian from Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee I left him to it and opened up te PC and found an open letter from his Bishop, John Riccard to Vice -President Elect Biden, it doesn't exactly say he shouldn't have received Holy Communion, but...

Now I know that not all US bishops would have sent such a letter, but a significant number would. What perplexes many North Americans is why their European brothers are so silent. For example I am constantly asked who challenges Blair.

I learned recently of your visit to the diocese during the political campaign and that you attended the celebration of Sunday Mass in a local parish. The Church of Pensacola- Tallahassee welcomes all people of good will, all the baptized to pray with us. In particular, we welcome our fellow Catholics who seek to fulfill their Sunday obligation in a spirit of communion by participating in Sunday Mass.

Sunday Mass provides Catholics with the nourishment to live in the image of Jesus Christ whose mission is directed to the orphan and the widow, to the poor and the vulnerable. The principles of right reason, knowable to all even beyond the categories of faith, attest the common good is served only when the least of our brethren are accorded full rights correspondent to their inviolable dignity. Thus, human life is to be respected from the moment of conception until natural death. The Church has taught this from the beginning, and civilized societies live by this principle.

Our worship of God during Sunday Mass, which culminates in the reception of Holy Communion, is precisely the moment when we are nourished and strengthened by the Holy Spirit’s gift of courage to stand up in fortitude to protect the weakest among us. The Eucharist, as the real presence of Christ, is also the sign of our unity as a Church, which is built on sharing in the mission of Christ to protect the defenseless. While grateful for the effective collaboration you and your office have offered on so many worthy projects and concerns, I also observe, by your support for laws that fail to protect the unborn, a profound disconnection from your human and personal obligation to protect the weakest and most innocent among us: the child in the womb.

As the bishops said in their 2004 reflection on Catholics in Public Life, “The Eucharist is the source and summit of Catholic life. Therefore, like every Catholic generation before us, we must be guided by the words of St. Paul, ‘Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the Body and Blood of the Lord’ (1 Cor 11:27). This means that all must examine their consciences as to their worthiness to receive the Body and Blood of our Lord. This examination includes fidelity to the moral teaching of the Church in personal and public life. . . Respect for the Holy Eucharist, in particular, demands that it be received worthily and that it be seen as the source for our common mission in the world.”

I pray that the Catholic faith you have been raised in, the faith by which you pray, and the life of virtue which flows from both may strengthen you so that you may have the strength needed to witness Jesus, even as the martyrs did, and live by the virtue of fortitude as you proclaim your support to the Person of Christ in the most vulnerable of his members: the pre-born child. You are, Senator, always welcome to nourish such a faith within the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

How long will we have to wait for the Roman Catholic Bishops of England and Wales make a statement about our very own Catholic MPs who so recently voted for the HFE bill, this week, next week, sometime, never.

Des Browne, Andy Burnham, David Cairns, Rosie Cooper, Paul Goggins, Meg Hillier, Huw Irranca-Davies, Helen Jones, Barbara Keeley, Peter Kilfoyle, Thomas McAvoy, Pat McFadden, Anne McGuire, Ann McKechin, Jim Murphy, Paul Murphy (Papal Knight), Mike O'Brien, Chris Ruane, Helen Southworth, and Don Touhig (Papal Knight) all voted for this Frankenstein bill, unbelievable.

That so called Catholic MPs can vote in such a way is bad enough but surely some of the blame for this relativistic morality has to be laid squarely at the feet of our own Bishops.

With very few exceptions the Catholic faithful in this country have been and are increasingly let down by the lack of leadership and clear, unequivocal and traditional moral teaching from our Bishops. It grieves me to say it but on the whole they are not giving the leadership that that their apostolic office demands, and in consequence it has to be asked what good are they, salt that has lost its flavour?

Anonymous said...

St Paul was even more outspoken on the subject of those who received the sacrament unworthily. He thought it was to their damnation. See I Corinthians Ch 11 v 27 - 29.

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