May 31, 2022 Column Father De Celles

Congratulations to the Newly Confirmed. Sincere congratulations to all our teens who received the fullness of the gifts of the Holy Spirit in the Sacrament of Confirmation last Tuesday evening. Let’s keep them in our prayers as they go forward with these graces and become the good men and women God created them to be. Thanks to Bishop Burbidge for visiting and conferring the sacrament, and thanks also to parents, sponsors, and catechists for helping the kids prepare for the sacrament and for life as true followers of Jesus.

Heart of a Lion. I’m sure many of you remember when  Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, of San Francisco, spoke to a packed church at St. Raymond’s in November of 2015. He was well received by you, with a standing ovation even before he spoke. His name translates as “Heart of a lion,” and he has always exemplified that, and continues to do that today.

Since I wrote last week’s column most of you have read about Archbishop Cordileone’s notice publicly banning his subject, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, a Catholic, from receiving Holy Communion.

            My response in one word: Bravo! In four words: Praised be Jesus Christ! While this took great personal courage, his ban is simply a public recognition that Canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law applies to her case. The canon reads: “Those …who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin, are not to be admitted to holy communion.”

This, of course, is a codification of St. Paul’s Scriptural edict in 1 Cor 11: “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be answerable for the body and blood of the Lord. …For all who eat and drink without discerning the body, eat and drink judgment against themselves.”

And in 1 Cor 5: “you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.”

            Abortion and promoting and voting for pro-abortion legislation is clearly, undebatable, a “grave sin.” To be clear, and with all charity and compassion toward post-abortive mothers who have been misled, coerced or otherwise confused, abortion is a form of murder, the worst form.

            Moreover, Pelosi has clearly “obstinately persisted” in this grave sin after many warnings by Popes and her Archbishop, in a way that is manifest to all Americans.

            Therefore, by the law of the Church, and Scripture, she simply may not be given Communion. Note, this is not the decision of the Archbishop. It is the law of God and the Church that is binding on the Archbishop—and all clerics, including the Pope himself. Archbishop Cordileone is merely informing his lamb, Nancy, and other bishops and priests, that the law does indeed apply in her case.

            Of course, the response by the radical-Left has been predictable. The media is full of folks saying that the Archbishop is crossing the line between Church and state. But of course, this has nothing to do with the “State;” it is an internal matter within the Church: between the Archbishop and one of his own flock (and the rest of us Catholics) about what she may no longer do inside the Church.

My favorite response was Whoopi Goldberg on The View. “This is not your job, dude! …that is not up to you to make that decision… what is the point of communion, right? It’s for sinners. It’s for sinners. It’s the reward of saints, but the bread of sinners. How dare you?”

Whoopi, Whoopi, Whoopi. That actually IS HIS JOB. You might not like it, but your ignorance of Scripture, Catholic teaching and Canon Law doesn’t change that. Moreover, misquoting Pope Francis doesn’t change that either.

            And of course Pelosi responded predictably. The Washington Post reports her saying, “I wonder about the death penalty, which I’m opposed to. So is the church, but they take no actions against people who may not share their view.” Actually, the Church has consistently taught that the death penalty, properly applied, is not sinful. It is true, Pope Francis reworded the Catechism to say that “the death penalty is inadmissible,” but such ambiguous wording does not clearly overturn the 2000 year old unambiguous doctrine on the subject.

Moreover, consider the execution of a person tried and found guilty of a terrible crime they freely chose to do, after a long and thorough process of the law, subject to multiple judicial appeals. How does that even remotely compare to the arbitrary, unilateral, unappealable killing “on demand” of an innocent defenseless unborn little baby.

            Pelosi also said, “Now our archbishop has been vehemently against LGBTQ rights…So this decision … is very dangerous in the lives of so many of the American people. They’re not consistent with the Gospel of Matthew.” Again, Cordileone is absolutely in line with Church teaching and the Gospels, so what she’s saying is that the Gospel is “very dangerous.”

            Kudos to the brave Archbishop Cordileone for his courage to take such a strong and clear stand in the face of such terrible and evil opposition.

Uvalde, Texas. I fondly remember Uvalde as a quaint and sleepy little town in the middle of the desert about 70 miles west of my hometown of San Antonio. So I was stunned and heartbroken to hear the news last week of the elementary school shooting killing 22, including 19 little children. I commend to your prayers the souls of all the dead, including the deranged shooter: may God have mercy on his depraved soul.

Requiem aeternam dona eis,

Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis.

Requiescant in pace. Amen.

Whenever these kinds of shootings happen, there are many who call for stricter gun laws. Well, that’s a political call, not something I want to engage in. But we need to remember that we have a natural right to defend ourselves, which means, in our day, a natural right to own guns, and in my judgment, in most cases, to carry them. Certainly, society has a right to place reasonable restrictions on this right, but the question then becomes what is “reasonable.”

            But I don’t see this as a gun control issue as much as a sign of a much bigger society problem. Evil has taken hold, whether it’s killing babies in the womb, or killing them in the classroom, the respect for innocent human life has been lost. In the end, it’s the Devil at work. “For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness…” (Eph 6:12). So pray, and embrace Jesus and His Holy Church.

Memorial Day. For many people Memorial Day simply marks the beginning of the Summer. But its true meaning is to honor all the brave men and women who have died serving in the military of our beloved country. May we honor them tomorrow, and always. And may God reward them in eternity for their sacrifices on earth.

Oremus pro invicem. Fr. De Celles