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Burke borked

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Jan 21, 2004

St. Louis-bound Bishop Burke put the cat amongst the pigeons in a big way by announcing that pro-abort pols would be denied communion. Clever folks at the Post-Dispatch phoned around the country to Burke's brethren to see if his spokespersons-in-Christ might help cut the ground out beneath him. They were not disappointed:

The Rev. Christopher Coyne, the Boston Archdiocese spokesman, has no expectation that O'Malley ever would ever direct his priests to refuse communion to pro-abortion rights officials, he said. Unless a person is clearly deranged or saying things against the church at that moment, the archdiocese's policy is that no priest or lay communion minister should ever refuse communion, he said.

"A priest or a Eucharistic minister is not a policeman or policewoman," Coyne said. "The proper place for a conversation (about church doctrine) is not in the communion line, but before or after."

Three points: first, Coyne's "...or policewoman" line signals which moral imperatives the Archdiocese is really prepared to take seriously. Second, it's nonsense to imply that a bishop's responsibilities regarding admission to communion are no different from those of a lay extraordinary minister faced with an on-the-spot decision. Third, Coyne's suggestion that "a conversation" about doctrine should take place outside of Mass would be reasonable if he were saying this: it is a bishop's duty to confront public dissenters, and, should they prove obdurate, only then must he deny them communion.

Well, Kennedy and Kerry are famously obdurate. That means either the confrontations have never taken place, or they took place and the bishop backed down. Well, Fr. Coyne, which would you have us believe? More to the point, which of the two paths -- hiding or caving -- should Bishop Burke pursue if he is to move the Archdiocese of St. Louis forward?

Burke gets tweaked as well by Cardinal McCarrick's flack, who sniffs that, in Washington at any rate, the church doors are open to absolutely anyone with half-a-trillion in public funds to disburse:

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, archbishop of Washington, D.C., works with pro-abortion rights Catholic politicians on a spectrum of moral issues. McCarrick deals with the morality of their action and their relationship to God in private conversations, never publicly, said McCarrick spokesman Susan Gibbs.

"In this diocese, priests and Eucharistic ministers don't refuse communion," she said. "We keep the doors open."

How sweet. It must be said about these "private conversations" that the bishops have certainly managed to impress on their interlocutors the importance of the privacy aspect. So much so, in fact, that it's hard to name a single example of a pro-abortion Catholic pol who changed his mind or who, having refused to change it, left either his office or his Church.

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