Sunny Days in Heaven
Spiritual/Political/Philosophical Blog on the Nature of Truth and Falsehood and Heaven

Friday, May 28, 2004  

The Gospel goes begging

One of my biggest disappointments with the Roman Catholic church is how often it allows canon law or "pastoralism" to overturn Gospel wisdom.

Here is Jesus' wisdom in Matthew 18:

15"If your brother sins against you,[2] go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. 16But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.'[3] 17If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

Here is a Cardinal's pastoralism:

Addressing a national controversy for the first time, Baltimore's Cardinal William H. Keeler said he opposes an attempt by some bishops to politicize Communion and deny the sacrament to Catholic politicians who support abortion rights.

Keeler said in an interview this week that it was not the business of bishops to choose who receives Communion. Instead, he said he supports church policy that individual Catholics should determine whether they are in a state of grace with the church before partaking in the Eucharist, the heart of Catholic worship.

"Our position is ... Catholics have a responsibility to examine their own conscience and see if they are in a state that is appropriate for the reception of the sacrament," he said. "We don't need bishops to get into the act."

Self-examination is all well and good, but we are called to repent our sins, and it is the church which can tell us (when we won't tell ourselves) where we go wrong.

posted by Mark Butterworth | 11:34 AM |