CUPICH


A bishop’s failure to enforce canon law does not excuse clergy and his faithful from following it

By Edward Peters, JD, JCD, Ref. Sig. Ap.

October 10, 2018

It needs no long blog post from a canon lawyer to explain how wrong would be a failure by a bishop to protect his faithful against scandal (CCC 22842287) and/or to defend the Eucharist against potential sacrilege (CCC 2120) but, make no mistake, in reiterating that “it is not [his] policy” to withhold holy Communion from persons in ‘same-sex marriages’, that is what Cdl. Cupich’s refusal to act as ‘the guardian of the entire liturgical life in the church entrusted to him’ (c. 835 § 1) and “to exercise vigilance so that abuses do not creep into ecclesiastical discipline, especially regarding … the celebration of the sacraments and sacramentals, [and] the worship of God” (c. 392 § 2) in this matter, does.

Cupich’s failure ‘to bishop’ in this regard, of course, effectively abandons his pastors and other ministers of holy Communion to face alone the anger of some Catholics in ‘same-sex marriages’ who (like persons in merely civil marriages following divorce) must nevertheless be refused holy Communion by pastors correctly recognizing that, no matter what their archbishop doesn’t say, they are still required by canon law not to admit to holy Communion those who ‘obstinately persevere in manifest grave sin’ (c. 915).

Canon 915, as has been explained many, many times, rests on ancient, indeed Biblical, foundations, nothing in modern canon law or recent magisterial literature annuls it, and it unquestionably applies in regard to Catholics who have attempted a ‘same-sex marriage’. But it might still be useful to explicitate briefly the application of Canon 915 in some same-sex pastoral situations.

1. A homosexual inclination or orientation does not, in anyone’s opinion, disqualify a person from being admitted to holy Communion.

2. Cohabitation by homosexuals does not, in my opinion, disqualify them from being admitted to holy Communion because one does not assume that persons of the same sex are engaged in sexual activity (and in this respect, yes, homosexual cohabitation differs from heterosexual, or has differed, according to about 5,000 years of recorded human behavior).

3. Attempted civil marriage between persons of the same sex (just like those following divorce between heterosexuals) disqualifies, in the common and constant opinion of learned persons (which I share), such Catholics from being admitted to holy Communion because the sign-values that marriage (c. 1055) enjoys in the Church and civil society—itself a public sign proclaimed, by the way, irrespective of whatever private sexual activity might or might not be occurring between the persons involved—are contradicted by persons purporting to be in a ‘marriage’ that cannot be a marriage.

The above analysis applies, I suggest, even if it is not promoted by local Church authorities.

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PS: Speaking of Chicago, has an announcement been made yet that the two Chicago-based priests recently arrested for XXXing each other in a car parked a short distance from a playground in Miami will be prosecuted canonically toward their dismissal from the clerical state? If not, might one ask what the delay is?

About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas
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4 Responses to CUPICH

  1. hellenback7 says:

    Please remove/ignore the accidentally copied/pasted repeated first part of my comment beginning. It should just be started/read from the second “@Margaret” point.
    I was trying to be extra careful to avoid typos due to no editting of comments but obviously failed again ;(

  2. hellenback7 says:

    @Margaret
    I believe it’s not explained because Francis has shown with his actions, words and writings (e.g. I who am I to Judge & esp. in Amoris laetitia) that he disagrees with the clear teaching of Pope St. John Paul II and the consistent teaching of Christ’s Church throughout the ages.
    His proposal of “Discernment & Accompaniment” seems a naive idea. Time and again in The Church we’ve seen how “limited solutions” lead to widespread abuse.
    my experience priests and from what I read, priests either don’t have or take the time or resources to @Margaret
    I believe it’s not explained because Francis has shown with his actions, words and writings (e.g. I who am I to Judge & esp. in Amoris laetitia) that he disagrees with the clear teaching of Pope St
    John Paul II and the consistent teaching of Christ’s Church throughout the ages.
    His proposal of “Discernment Accompaniment” seems a ludicrous proposal. Time and again in The Church we’ve seen how “limited solutions” lead to widespread abuse. In my experience priests either don’t have or don’t make the time to even offer laity enough opportunity to properly access the Sacrament of confession, let the time or will to implement this “accompaniment”. Even if it was an acceptable solution with a proper understanding of “conscience”; (which it is not), each priest could not help but to offer his own private opinion on the best way to “proceed mercifully” during such an “accompaniment”.

  3. Sheepdog says:

    The very wise Sheepdog176 spoke the Truth on Twitter and was blocked by Father James Martin. Why? Because Father James Martin is a heretic especially in regards to true pastoral “accompaniment”. Cupich is appreciative of Father James Martin. Cupich also weaponizes secular Psychology against good Priests. There are good Psychologists out there but unfortunately that field is cluttered with people who weaponize it to the Democrats and leftists ideas, while sometimes also taking out Spirituality or downplaying Faith as an “aspect” of ones life.

  4. Surely the direction of John Paul II applies to same-sex couples with children too; to live celibate lives. Why is this not explained?

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