Eviscerate bishops – one in particular – who won’t apply law
Posted on 15 June 2019 by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Right away go over to canonist Ed Peters’ place and read his vivisection of Card. Cupich.It’s not just Cupich whom he has eviscerated.  It’s all the bishops who refuse to implement the Church’s Canon Law.   I believe bishops take oaths when they are consecrated and when they take an office.   Am I wrong?Since he doesn’t have a combox, and he doesn’t mind reposting of text with attribution…Cupich’s rationales for not taking canonical action against prominent pro-abortion Catholic politicos are as unconvincing as ever.

No one thought that Chicago’s Blase Cdl. Cupich would follow Springfield’s Bp. Thomas Paprocki’s example in calling upon Catholic state legislators, who had supported Illinois’ express attack on the basic rights of pre-born babies, to refrain from holy Communion until they repented of their evil deed (Canon 916), further directing that his ministers withhold holy Communion from two specific legislators based on their protracted and public support of such measures (Canon 915), so no one was surprised when Cupich didn’t.

But, if only ‘for the record’, some replies to Cupich’s rationales for not following Paprocki’s example are in order.1. Cupich claims that “it would be counterproductive to impose sanctions”. This misrepresents a crucial point: withholding holy Communion under Canon 915 is not the application of canonicalsanction but rather the observance of a sacramental disciplinarynorm. Casting the operation of Canon 915 as a sanction (implying thereby proof of canonical crimes upon the observance of special penal procedures) is a straw-man frequently posed by prelates skirting the plain provisions of Eucharistic discipline. 

2. Cupich claims that “sanctions [sic] … don’t change anybody’s minds”. This misrepresents the two-fold purpose of withholding holy Communion, namely to prevent the scandal to the faith community that arises from the administration of holy Communion to Catholics who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin (say, by their formally depriving innocent human beings of any protection under civil law) and to prevent sacrilege from being committed against the august Sacrament. ‘Changing people’s minds’ has nothing to do with either goal. 

3. Cupich claims that, when confronted with prominent Catholics who formally and actively cooperate in depriving innocent human beings of their right to life, his “primary responsibility is to teach”. This misrepresents the fact that bishops have not one but three primary responsibilities, namely, to teach, to sanctify, and to govern the People of God (Canon 375, emphasis added). Preserving sacramental discipline in the Church entrusted to him is a crucial part of a bishop’s governing duty (Canon 392). A bishop cannot therefore point to his admittedly sound teaching in regard to the right to life as if that satisfies his duty of governing his Church in support of that teaching, any more than a father can excuse sitting by while members of his household act against the common good, by saying, “Well, I told them what was right and wrong.” 

4. Cupich might (it is not clear from the CNA article) claim that Paprocki’s action was taken in response to legislators “who championed the law”, referring only to the awful bill passed in Illinois a couple weeks ago. But if this is Cupich’s claim it would be factually wrong, for Paprocki, in invoking Canon 915 against two named politicos, expressly underscored their repeated and prominent role in advancing pro-abortion state legislation over a period of time and in multiple ways. Paprocki did not act upon news of a single bad act (although he might have been justified in doing so on these facts). 

5. Finally Cupich claims that “an elected official has to deal with the judgment seat of God” adding that God’s judgment will be “much more powerful” than any here on earth. In that regard Cupich is certainly correct. Elected officials will be answerable to God for their acts and omissions. As will bishops. And cardinals. 

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I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas
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1 Response to FATHER JOHN ZUHLSDORF ON Cardinal Cupich

  1. lifelongcatholic says:

    Regarding the topic of not implementing Canon Law, etc., we need to refer to the background of C. Cupich. Since he and a number of others seem to have entered the priesthood with the plan to change Catholicism (whether they were Communist, homosexual or freemasons to begin with or trained and “changed” [change agents] in seminaries by descendants of the aforesaid), my question is: If these individuals deliberately disagreed with the Laws of God, Christ and the Catholic Church when ordained (including those who belong to AUSCP) and took the Oath of Obedience without intending to submit but to continue to “change the Church”, were they validly ordained?

    To me, this also applies to Jorge Bergoglio because of his history of who influenced him and his apparent love for socialism, although he denies it, and tries to disguise his economic/environmental plan as something else. That, to me, would be the beginning of the argument that he was invalidly elected as pope; and I do believe he was invalidly elected.

    So what is the answer? Try to find a solution to deal with these people who continue to control the Church or let the Holy Spirit and the Blessed Mother work, or both? Leaving it up to secular authorities in some cases won’t work because the civil authorities are sometimes complicit, especially since they now are “frozen” in acting against homosexual aggression. We already have a “silent” schism and guess who is causing it? Jorge Bergoglio, current cardinals and bishops who have been the real dissenters, the late Cardinal Martini, infiltrators of the Catholic Faith (and society) since the 1920s. I don’t know the answer, but we do know many are leaving the Church and if loyal Catholics leave, we are leaving it to the people who are working to destroy the Catholic Faith. So, besides prayer, fasting, acting (exposing such dissidents) and suffering the results of what these people sow, what can be done ? I sincerely ask that question. We know there will be a remnant from the prophecies, but do prophecies have to come true all the time? Sincerely, Naomi King ________________________________

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