Trust. But verify.

By Diogenes (articles ) | Aug 10, 2004

Bishop F. Joseph Gossman of Raleigh, North Carolina has responded to the statement in which 3 other bishops from nearby dioceses announced that pro-abortion Catholic politicians would be barred from Communion.

In his own weighty statement on the question, Bishop Gossman proclaims:

The Church does not engage in political activity. Its primary responsibility in the political arena is one of being educated—of being aware of the moral implications of political issues in order to provide guidance concerning the rightness or wrongness of a specific issue to those who will listen.
If you can translate that second sentence into English, you're a better man than I am. But when you see that the Church's responsibility is "being educated" (by whom, I wonder?), you can sense what's coming. And sure enough, here it comes:
If individuals are not properly disposed, for whatever reason, they are obliged to refrain from receiving Holy Communion. This is not a new practice in the Church and I trust that those who receive the Body and Blood of Christ in this diocese have fulfilled this obligation and believe that they are free of grave sin.
Of course. And since mugging has been against the law in my town for many years, I trust that the half-dozen teenagers who just emerged from an alleyway, wearing gangsta outfits and carrying switchblades, are taking orders for Girl Scout cookies.

Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 6 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Fr. William - Aug. 10, 2004 11:57 PM ET USA

    With just a little research, mostly from his own diocesan paper & a survey of parishes & parishioners in the diocese, one would find these statements from Bishop Gossman of Raleigh very consistent with a litany of non-sensical statements, lack of support of Roman Catholic Church Teaching, personal mis-interpretations of clear directives from the Holy Father & the Magisterium, & advocacy of various groups that oppose the Church & the Church's Teaching. In essence, a traitorous bishop to retire.

  • Posted by: - Aug. 10, 2004 11:13 PM ET USA

    With respect to the Church's primary responsibility in the political arena being one of being "educated", what happened to Vatican II's directive for the chuch militant (the Laity) to be engaged and to evangelize the prevailing culture?

  • Posted by: Fatimabeliever - Aug. 10, 2004 8:39 PM ET USA

    I wish someone who has regretted having an abortion would take their aborted precious baby and hand the poor child to these Bishops who see nothing wrong here!!!

  • Posted by: - Aug. 10, 2004 7:40 PM ET USA

    Excuses, excuses, excuses!!!

  • Posted by: - Aug. 10, 2004 2:54 PM ET USA

    This isn’t “weighty,” it’s convoluted. 1) The bishop wants to trust those who have shown that they’re not worthy of trust. 2) Believing that one is free of grave sin isn’t the same as actually being so. 3) While an individual has an obligation to not approach if not properly disposed, the Church has an obligation (Can 915) to turn away those it knows to be not properly disposed. 4) Bishops aren’t just teachers; they are shepherds. Shepherds must keep their flocks in line, lest they be scattered.

  • Posted by: - Aug. 10, 2004 2:04 PM ET USA

    I wonder how many of these Bishops in passing the responsiblity of receiving Communion to the conscience of the receiver also have locks on their doors? Locks you say, we are talking about religion. Well I am just wondering if the Bishops leave their doors open to anyone and their cars with keys in them. People should not steal and therefore we should not judge people as thieves and use locks. Why should they protect their valuables if they do not protect the Eucharist in the same way?