Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Reminder about Amateur Excommunication

I've been hanging out a lot this past week in the Catholic Answers Forums. Life is pretty interesting over there, and a little earlier today I posted something over there, in a "is J.F. Kerry a Catholic?" thread, that I think will do nicely over here as a reminder as we enter the messy muddy season called national elections.

Here it is:

Originally Posted by [name deleted]
Is John Kerry or is he not a Catholic?[end quote]

The test of Catholicity:

Has he been baptised in a Catholic Church, or has he been received into the Church and chrismated after being baptised elsewhere? Yes, he has been baptised in the Catholic Church.

Has he actually joined a non-Catholic ecclesial community, or has he been initiated into a non-Christian religion? Examples: joined a Protestant fellowship, registered in a SSPV or Spiritus Christi parish, become a Buddhist......? No, he has not separated himself from the Church by a definitive act.

Has he been thrown out by his bishop? No, Archbishop Sean of Boston, his bishop and ordinary, has not thrown him out yet.

Therefore, John Forbes Kerry is a Catholic.

He may be a mistaken Catholic, or an uninstructed Catholic, or a Catholic who is a bad example, but he is still a Catholic.

This does not mean that he is not a prodigal and a problem child and a pain in the posterior, but he is _our_ prodigal and problem and pain. We don't get the easy way out by denying he's our brother, the only ones with the authority to say that are +Sean of Boston, his bishop, or the Holy Father himself, and they haven't yet.

karen marie


andrea said...

As I read your blog I can't help but appreciate its gentleness. So much of what I see about John Kerry is the sense of wanting to draw a line that puts him on the outside. Unfortunately, I think the people saying these things would just as happily put me and put other people on the outside as well. "You don't have the right view on abortion -- OUT!" "You don't have the right view on the Latin Mass -- OUT!" "You don't love this bishop (or hate that one) -- OUT!" The Church they want is very pure and very small...and possibly without its soul.

Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offense.
-- Robert Frost

Unknown said...

True, he has not been excommunicated, yet. That's why a brave soul has filed the papers requesting that he be excommunicated forthwith, and I'm praying that his bishop takes it up properly.

TS said...

It is a bit ironic that we lay Catholics, who believe that Christ intended to set up a hierarchical Church, want to usurp some of the functions of the hierarchy.

Anonymous said...

Karen Marie, you are an antidote to anger. God bless you and your gentle soul.