Catholic Culture News
Catholic Culture News

On abortion/Communion debate, Pope’s answer raises more questions

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | Jul 04, 2022

Commenting on argument that pro-abortion Catholic politicians should be barred from Communion, Pope Francis said “when a bishop loses his pastoral nature, it causes a political problem.”

OK, three questions:

  1. Does a bishop lose his “pastoral nature” when he warns a member of his flock not to endanger her soul?
  2. What is the political problem—and for whom?
  3. Why should a bishop worry about creating a political problem, if it’s the result of carrying out his pastoral duties? (Did St. Thomas a Beckett create a political problem for King Henry? Was he wrong to do so?)

Let’s rephrase the matter: “When a bishop worries first about a political problem, he loses his pastoral nature.”

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: luiperez5082 - Jul. 05, 2022 4:27 PM ET USA

    Your rewording came to my mind when I first read the news.

  • Posted by: Retired01 - Jul. 05, 2022 2:59 PM ET USA

    So the message to American bishops is very clear. If you refuse communion to a pro-abortion politician, you are not pastoral, and therefore, you are not a good bishop. Thus, if a bishop wants to be a good shepherd, he needs to give communion to pro-abortion Catholic politicians such as Biden and Pelosi. I wonder what St. Paul would say about this new definition of a good bishop.

  • Posted by: CorneliusG - Jul. 05, 2022 1:56 PM ET USA

    As usual, PF is 180 degrees out from both the truth and from a truly pastoral response to grave, public, obstinate sin. He's clueless. What's scarier: what institution would elect such a bungler to its highest position? What does that say about the Cardinals?

  • Posted by: IM4HIM - Jul. 05, 2022 10:57 AM ET USA

    The Pope has proven once again that he is a politician and not a pastor of souls. He says nice things that many people want to hear. Remember, whenever he gives his opinion on issues we do not have to agree with him. The charism of infallibility only applies to solemn and very rare declarations on faith and morals from the Chair of Peter. We are to respect the Pope and his role in the Church, but we are not to idolize him or his opinions.

  • Posted by: padre3536 - Jul. 05, 2022 10:43 AM ET USA

    Vicar of Christ, be “close, tender, and give Communion.” Christ, be “close, tender, and give them My Closeness, My Tenderness: "neither do I condemn you, yet go and sin no more”, thus give me your communion that I may give you Mine".

  • Posted by: padre3536 - Jul. 05, 2022 10:40 AM ET USA

    Well witnessed, Mr Lawler. God in His tenderness of closeness commands that we affirm Archbishop Cordelione and Christ's compassion, tenderness and closeness in him to Pelosi, by all the warnings and now this latest warning: if Christ in the good Archbishop and the Archbishop in the Christ did not do this, was not permitted so, he, the Archbishop, would be guilty of Pelosi's sins for starters and would enter wickedness and death as well - Ezk 3:18 33:8

  • Posted by: miketimmer499385 - Jul. 05, 2022 10:34 AM ET USA

    Can't you just picture Francis in Tudor England? No doubt in my mind how that would have unfolded then, whether as Pope or as an English bishop.

  • Posted by: feedback - Jul. 05, 2022 2:01 AM ET USA

    So, according to pope Francis, giving Holy Communion to a hit man is pastoral, and refusing the same is political. In my view the exact opposite takes place, which is why pro-abortion politicians are so obstinate about receiving Holy Communion in the most pompous manner. Besides that, there is the grave issue of causing a public scandal by the pope himself.