Saturday, January 9, 2010

excerpts from Bishop Vasa's "Excommunication is a Declaration of Acts that Severs[sic] Ties"

"Excommunication is a declaration, based on solid evidence, that the actions or public teachings of a particular Catholic are categorically incompatible with the teachings of the Church. It is intended primarily as a means of getting the person who is in grave error to recognize the depth of his error and repent. A second reason, while somewhat secondary but no less important, is to assure the faithful who truly are faithful that what they believe to be the teaching of the Church is true and correct. Allowing their faith to be shaken or allowing them to be confused when Catholics publicly affirm something contrary to faith or morals, seemingly without consequences, scandalizes and confuses the faithful....

"This discouragement of the faithful is not insignificant. When we look at the word itself we see that its root is 'courage' and allowing someone’s courage to be dissipated, or 'dissed' as the young might say, is harmful to the person. En-couragement, by contrast, builds up the courage of the faithful and increases their strength for doing good....

"Allowing error, publicly expressed, to stand without comment or contradiction is discouraging. When that moral error is espoused publicly by a Catholic who, by the likewise public and external act of receiving Holy Communion, appears to be in 'good standing' then the faithful are doubly confused and doubly discouraged. In that case, the error is certainly not refuted. Furthermore, the impression is given that the error is positively condoned by the bishop and the Church....

"In such a case, private 'dialogue' is certainly appropriate but a public statement is also needed. In extreme cases, excommunication may be deemed necessary....

"The actions and words, contrary to faith and morals, are what excommunicate (i.e. break communion with the Church). When matters are serious and public, the Bishop may deem it necessary to declare that lack of communion explicitly. This declaration no more causes the excommunication than a doctor who diagnoses diabetes causes the diabetes he finds in his patient....

"In serious cases, and the cases of misled Catholic public officials are often very serious, a declaration of the fact that the person is de facto out of communion may be the only responsible and charitable thing to do. Failing to name error because of some kind of fear of offending the person in error is neither compassion nor charity....

"The teachings of the Church are well documented and consistent. Bishops and the pastors who serve in their Dioceses have an obligation both to lead their people to the truth and protect them from error."

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About Me

I am an enormously blessed husband and dad. In regard to my Catholic theological background, I have a certificate in social ministry & a master's degree (moral theology concentration), as well as a catechetical diploma from the Vatican's Sacred Congregation for the Clergy (Nope, I am not now - nor have I have ever been - a seminarian, deacon, or priest.). I feel particularly proud to have a mandatum. I also have a doctorate in Christian counseling psychology.

And yup, that's me!

And yup, that's me!
(from page 1 of the NY Sun, 3/22/04)

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