|Posted by Heather on May 21, 2011 at 7:52 AM|
The Other Day I was reviewing Catholic Canon Law and decided to post this op-ed below
In the Roman Catholic Church there are formal teachings which require adherence if one sincerely desires to enter into God's Kingdom. The pope and the bishops of the Church have primary responsibility for educating the faithful in these teachings, for setting example for them to follow, and for seeing to the proper admonishment and discipline of those in their charge. The following documents, based upon formal Church teachings and sound reasoning, set the pattern for true believers to follow in order to out-process nonbelieving bishops.
November 21, 1996
EXCOMMUNICATING CATHOLIC BISHOP
The magnitude of the capital crime of abortion is incomprehensible to the vast majority of people. For those who are sensitive to the issue, the heartache is that so many are involved in the crime. Integral with the heartache is the effective accommodation by religions who have strong doctrinal positions against abortion but allow the indifferentism of pastors. It is to be expected that humanists --those who are only interested in that which makes them personally and immediately happy-- would have little concern for the defenseless who they see as depriving them of happiness, liberty or wealth. It is little expected that those who profess belief in eternal life are often as bad or worse than the humanists.
While adherents of many religions profess that human life begins at the moment of conception, the doctrine of the Catholic Church is probably the clearest and most formal of all. Hence for Catholics and particularly for their most responsible spokesmen, the bishops, the crime of distancing themselves from the condemnatory sin of abortion is the greatest. Not only have teachings for Catholics been clear from the early centuries of the Church, as expressed in the Didache (1st Century A.D.) and the Epistle of Barnabas (2nd Century A.D.), but the successors of the office of Peter, known as popes, have without inconsistency declared the evil of abortion.
A 4th century statement by St. Basil the Great, an archbishop and "doctor" of the Catholic Church, clearly expresses the Catholic position on abortion, "A woman who deliberately destroys a fetus is answerable for murder. And any fine distinction as to its being formed or unformed is not admissible among us."
HUMAN SOUL at CONCEPTION - "DOCTRINE"
Catholic nay sayers -- concerning a defined doctrine of the existence of a spiritual human being at conception -- need only examine the dogma of The Immaculate Conception which definitively proclaims the existence of a human being from the moment of conception. Though not formally proclaimed as a dogma of faith until 1854, the doctrine is found implicitly in the beliefs of many throughout the history of the Church. The defined dogma of faith is as follows:
"...the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary was preserved from all stain of original sin in the first instant of her Conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God, in consideration of the merits of Jesus Christ, savior of the human race, has been revealed by God and must, therefore, firmly and constantly be believed by all of the faithful.”
Why it took so long to make the belief definitive can perhaps be understood as the failure of many to accept the parallel between Mary and Eve, between Adam and Jesus. (Gen. 3:15 "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel.") The woman clearly refers to Eve, while your offspring and hers should clearly be seen as referring to Mary and her Son, Jesus (1Cor 15:22, 45). Of the four --Adam, Eve, Mary, and Jesus-- it does not seem plausible to hold that Mary would be the only one to come into existence in the state of sin, or, to hold that sinlessness (Jesus) could come out of sin (Mary). Evil is opposed to good. Mary was not in opposition to Jesus. Also, is not God capable of making an exception, from the norm, in favor of the woman who would be the mother of His Son?
For Catholics the existence of full human life from the moment of conception is not a matter of choice. The dogma of The Immaculate Conception is a binding doctrine of faith which concretely states that a new human person exists from the moment of each conception. (All human beings come spiritually into existence in the same manner as did Mary, though not free from original sin.)
With the clarity of Catholic teaching in regard to the evil of abortion and the requirement for protecting the defenseless (CCC §2269 1), it is of substantial concern that so many holding the office of bishop are morally guilty of indifferentism, minimalism and consequent omission.
SIN OF OMISSION
. . . "OMISSION, the nonperformance of some action; it is of concern to the moralist only when a person could and should do what he leaves undone. ...When there is an obligation to act, the failure to perform the required act can be due either to simple non-choice or to deliberate choice. ...It is due to deliberate choice when a person reaches an explicit decision to omit what he should do (St. Thomas Aquinas, ST 1a2ae, 71.5).
In all cases of voluntary omission, whether due to non-choice or deliberate choice, one is responsible for his failure to act, and the morality of the omission is determined in accord with the same norms that are applied to a positive choice to do something. If there is advertence to the obligation to do something, the omission of the performance of the act is equatable with a positive sinful choice, and the result is a grave or venial sin as the gravity of the obligation and the circumstances of the case demand." 2
Bishops, by virtue of office, have the gravest obligation to present the fullness of the teachings of the Catholic Church (Can. 386 3). In America, Catholics statistically have more abortions than any other religious or nonreligious group. Failure to actively preach against abortion, to actively oppose abortion and abortion proponents (political and otherwise), and abortion causing practices --the use of IUDs [a device which often causes several abortions each year of use], birth control pills which produce high numbers of chemically induced abortions, the various morning after pills and other pills and practices used to substitute for surgical abortion-- could account for 50 percent or more of all abortions by Catholics. Even if failure to actively teach accounted for only 1 to 10 percent of Catholic abortions, the crime would be grave.
Through lack of deed --omission of required teaching on the part of bishops and their failure to discipline clerics in their jurisdiction for failure to teach and set example-- not only are millions of innocent people losing their lives but large numbers, deprived of sound teaching, join the guilty and lose their souls. Due much to their omission, the prime commandment of God, to be fertile and multiply (Gn 1:28 and renewed in Gn 9:1), has become common mockery in the world.
Catholic bishops are also guilty of grave scandal by their failure to take direct positive action against the evils of abortion. Inaction (failure to teach, to discipline justly 4, and to guide by example) can only be seen by God as a grave sin of omission. Scandal also exists when bishops teach error or permit false teaching.
Can. 2326 Scandal is a grave offense when by deed or omission it deliberately leads others to sin.
. . . . In the Catholic Church some crimes call for automatic excommunication. The concept being brought out is that by omission --knowledgeable failure to believe, teach, and constructively practice the Word of God-- bishops directly participate in crimes of abortion. Bishops are deemed culpable as prescribed in the following canons.
Can. 1398 A person who actually procures an abortion incurs a latae sententiae 5 excommunication.
Can. 1329 §2 In the case of a latae sententiae penalty attached to an offense, accomplices, even though not mentioned in the law or precept, incur the same penalty if, without their assistance, the crime would not have been committed...
Whether some bishops are already excommunicated is of less importance than if, with presented knowledge, they will be under certain automatic excommunication by continued failure to effectively teach and set example. Time for reflection, on the long term consequences of persisting in their failure to instruct and act, is minimal when considered in proportion to the gravity of the sin of abortion.
By omission bishops, who have well defined strict obligations, have been of assistance to abortionists and other evil doers throughout the world. Once it is clear that a bishop fails to actively and regularly teach, personally and through priests in his diocese, against and otherwise oppose abortion in a manner corresponding to its gravity --making clear all methods included in the act of abortion and all consequences to abortion for the mother and all who willingly by act or omission cooperate in abortion-- it can then be understood that such bishop has failed in the duties of his office and has become morally culpable in the crime of abortion. A bishop's continued failure to act should be seen as direct complicity in murder by abortion. It should be understood that he is excommunicated, that his See (the diocesan office of bishop) is impeded (the bishop no longer has authority to teach or act in the name of the Church) and that his authority is transferred elsewhere. Anyone who knowingly fails to reject a deposed bishop's teaching authority is offensive to God.
It is the duty of every pastor to actively oppose abortion. There should be little doubt that, without sincere repentance, admission into Heaven will be denied to all directly or indirectly involved in the crime. Even for nonbelievers, abortion is at the very least a grave sin against nature.
To whatever degree ignorance or doubt may previously have been a factor, let that ignorance or doubt now be resolved. HELP SPREAD THE WORD. Readers should make known to bishops and all religious leaders (of all faiths) the presented concepts. By doing so you are making them fully culpable (responsible) for their guilt. End Of Part1
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