Tuesday, December 20, 2005

National News

Raymond Burke's excommunicating Saint Stans board made the front of the Wall Street Journal today. It is pretty interesting. Unfortunately I can't link to it for the WSJ doesn't have their articles online.

This is not the first time this has made the news. Most of the national news programs have featured bits on this.

I long for the days when Catholic Church made news when it deseged the parochial schools in the STL several years prior to STL City schools and the Brown v Board of Ed case. In those days Cardinal Ritter threatened to excommunicate those who did not comply. I really don't think the excommunication of the board of Saint Stans is going to make the ceiling of the Cathedral.

I still wonder what the archdiocese is trying to accomplish under Burke. Everyone bemoans the church shutting down Holy Family around the corner of the Royale, something that really was unnecessary for they paid their tribute, but what was really criminal was shutting down the ministry at the church which actually had a growing population. The archbishop shut down the Spanish Mass at Saint Francis. This ministry was essential for the neighborhood, and was serving a growing population unlike the entire rest of the archdiocese. We used to have two church's serving the Spanish speakers, pretty much the Mexicans on the southside. Now we have one.

I think I may go to Mass at Saint Stans. I hear from a friend that Canon law allows for exceptions of priests being excommunicated by an archdiocese, and they are allowed to use sacraments during "dangerous times".


Blogger Maire said...


I'm thinking this is the canon to what your friend is referring:
Can. 1352 §1 If a penalty prohibits the reception of the sacraments or sacramentals, the prohibition is suspended for as long as the offender is in danger of death.

That is the only "letting up" of a penalty. It sucks let me tell you. What sucks more is the following:
Can. 903 A priest is to be permitted to celebrate the Eucharist, even if he is not known to the rector of the church, provided either that he presents commendatory letters, not more than a year old, from his own Ordinary or Superior, or that it can be prudently judged that he is not debarred from celebrating.

However, I did post on stltoday about conscience. I would argue that you could receive communion in good conscience at Saint Stanislaus on Christmas Eve not as an act of ecclesial defiance or even as an act of solidarity but truly as receiving the blessed sacrament at Mass. I argue that one could see that the situation between St. Stan's and the Archdiocese does meet the standards of schism and therefore the sacraments are still valid.

Now, we must look at the following notion of conscience. To act in good conscience can be an avoidance of a mortal sin. Conscience, according to Timothy O’Connell (see Principles of Catholic Morality) and referencing the ancient understanding of synderesis and syndesis, involves three levels. For example, if one finds that one’s conscience is in conflict with a teaching for instance, one has the obligation to seek out the teachings that support that teaching and notion. They have the responsibility to seek out expert opinions on both sides of the issue. They are accountable to their community so they must be in constant conversation. However, even after all of this and the person, in good faith and with an open mind, after much prayer and communal discernment, decides that they must act “against” an instruction and “for” their conscience then they are removed from the instance of mortal sin. Simply the CCC defintion falls short of this moral dilema IMHO. I think we have relied too much on this.

Anyways, just $.02 from a theology gal.

11:29 AM  
Blogger Maire said...

Crap! I meant that one could say the situation does NOT meet the standards of schism etc etc Sorry!!

1:37 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home