A Reader Says 1 Cor. 11:28-29 Does Not Bar Grave Sinners from the Eucharist

In his first letter to the Corinthians, chapter 11, St. Paul tells us why it is so important to have a proper disposition before we receive the Eucharist. In verse 18, he begins by rebuking the Corinthians for their "divisions" and "factions." (The more things change.) He also condemns some abuses that crept into the common meal prior to the Eucharist. The rich, who could bring a large share of food and drink, ended up gorging themselves to the disadvantage of the poor, who were not able to … [Read more...]

Trump Contracepts Promise to Little Sisters of the Poor

If Mr. Trump wanted---as he said he did, pinky swear---he could exempt the Little Sisters of the Poor from the contraception mandate with an executive order. He has issued twenty-five of them, so he knows what they are. The mandate is not part of the language of the ACA, so the fact that Congress did not overturn it does not in any way compel Mr. Trump to enforce it and fight on its behalf in Court. And yet, according to the Washington Post, the Trump Administration has decided to continue the … [Read more...]

Dissenting Catholic Dick Durbin Tells Dems Not to Dissent From Party on Abortion

The hypocrisy of Sen. Dick Durbin knows no bounds. He is a Catholic who publicly dissents from his Church on abortion. And yet he has no difficulty in telling fellow Democrats that if they are pro-life, they have no place in the party. So as Durbin sees it, you have a higher obligation to your political party than you do to your Church. You should obey men rather than God. Fortunately, according to Deacon Greg Kandra, Sen. Durbin's bishop has invoked Canon 915 and forbidden him from receiving … [Read more...]

The Incoherence of “Just Clarify Amoris! Answer the Dubia!”

True it is that I have said myself: Pope Francis should answer the dubia on Amoris Laetitia. I have also said, consistently, time and again, on this wery blog, that AL is orthodox, is entirely consistent with Familiaris Consortio, and that anyone who reads it otherwise is in error. I just wish the pope would say that himself, rather than leave it to Schonborn and Müller. That said, I find most of those who rally, circulate petitions, ventilate in the media, and otherwise make a spectacle of … [Read more...]

A Poem for My Stillborn Daughter, Caitlyn

Eleven years ago today, my daughter was stillborn. That day, in the hospital, a nurse who provided grief support to parents who'd experienced perinatal loss visited with me. (Kim, who had eclampsia and had had a seizure the prior morning, was still spending a large part of the day asleep and half-aware of what was going on.) During the conversation, the nurse suggested to me that I write something for my daughter and have it buried with her, in order to mitigate a sense I had that I wouldn't be … [Read more...]

Sean Spicer Is Right: German Jews Weren’t German Citizens

Sean Spicer, spokesman for the Reich, stupefied the masses when he said: "I think when you come to sarin gas, [Hitler] was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Assad is doing." Hitler was much better than Assad! But this claim that Hitler never gassed his own people? Think Progress says it is "false." NBC News says it is false. Everwhere, people are saying it is false. Actually, Mr. Spicer is right: German Jews were not German citizens. On September 15, 1935, the Nuremberg … [Read more...]

Does Canon 194 Provide an Opening to Depose a Heretical Pope?

A reader points to Canon 194 as a possible opening for deposing a heretical pope. The canon lists certain conditions under which a person is "removed from an ecclesiastical office by the law itself." These are:A person who has lost the clerical state; [i.e., the priesthood] A person who has publicly defected from the Catholic faith or from the communion of the Church A cleric who has attempted marriage even if only civillyThe canon adds an important qualification:The removal … [Read more...]

A Heretic Would Not Cease to Be Pope: Thoughts on Bellarmine

I have argued before that a pope can not be a heretic. There is nothing that makes it theoretically impossible; the Holy Spirit only protects the pope from binding Catholics to heresy. But it seems to me that the safest way for the Holy Spirit do to this is simply to ensure that no one who is a heretic, or who could become a heretic, would ever be elected pope. The other option, I guess, would be that the Holy Spirit could strike the pope down with a stroke or a heart attack just before the … [Read more...]

About that Syllabus of Errors….Guess What Else Pius IX Condemned?

Enemies of so-called "innovations" in Vatican II like to cite the Syllabus of Errors in order to claim that the Council contains Modernist heresies. For example, they like to cite No. 15, in which Pius IX condemns the belief that "Every man is free to embrace and profess that religion which, guided by the light of reason, he shall consider true." This, say disciples of Lefebvre, contradicts Dignitatis Humanae. DH says, "The human person has a right to religious freedom." I am going to be … [Read more...]

Close Reading the Pope on Martin Luther

Let us do that thing that the blogging Catholic must sometimes do, which is to parse a difficult passage from one of the pope's innumerable interviews. This, again, was his interview last June as he winged his way back to Rome from Armenia. A reporter said, "Hey! That Martin Luther guy. You can rehabilitate him, right? Perhaps lift his excommunication? What say you?" It was an insane question. Martin Luther's excommunication ended in 1546 when he died. Now, I have been told, since my last post: … [Read more...]