A bishop applies Canon 915

A bishop applies Canon 915

We have an interesting cover story in October’s Catholic World Report: Bishop Rene Henry Gracida, emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas, writes about how he placed a pro-abortion Catholic politician under interdict. Without naming the politician, Bishop Gracida reveals the steps he took, and also dismantles the arguments of those who say that we shouldn’t “politicize” the Communion line, or that we can’t judge the state of a person’s soul when they come to Communion and so on.

I do disagree with the bishop on one point: I do think that in some cases it is necessary to make the interdict public at some point in the process as part of preventing scandal to the faithful. By not making the consequences of the politician’s actions public, it does not drive home to Catholics the severity of violating the Church’s teaching on the sanctity of life.

Granted, Bishop Gracida does say that if he knew the politician was going to Communion after having been told he should not receive, the bishop would have published the interdict in the diocesan newspaper. Still, I think such cases are not just for the sake of salvation of the one politician, but for the whole Church community. Yet, I think that’s a small point. Overall, Bishop Gracida strikes the right note and shows the error of the approach of Cardinal McCarrick or Archbishop Harry Flynn of Minneapolis, for example.

  • Since the bishop cites a local newspaper article about the pol, it wouldn’t be hard for somebody in Corpus Christi to head to the library and dig up the name.  But given that the guy was a state rep in Texas, most of us don’t have any particular interest, unless it turns out that he ended up in a more prominent job.


  • And it is important for us to remember, when reading this, that Bishop Gracida did not have to issue a formal interdict in order for Communion to be denied under canon 915:

    ry for this person, the representative. He never responded to the bishop’s attempts to speak with him about this issue, and died without resolving the matter. To be cut off from the Church would be horrifying. I can only think that he must have been full of anger and outrage when he received the bishop’s communications, and refused to respond. I can only hope he responded to the Lord’s call more appropriately. May he rest in peace.

  • Kelly,

    Let the Archbishop enter the former church building, retrieve the Blessed Sacrament, and then desanctify the building.

    I fear that at this point, they may disobey him (if not assault him), especially if they’ve already “hidden” the hosts among themselves. 

    Frankly, their devotion to the Eucharist is a bit surprising.  It sounds kind of Catholic.

    Iout the Archbishop and while there’s no doubt that the “newspapers will go wild” I simply do not care.

    Not when the Blessed Sacrament is involved. Again, there must be no compromise.

    Seamole? I could use a bit of your charity. I’m having trouble seeing this as “devotion to the Eucharist” but rather a “we don’t need anybody except ourselves to stage a liturgy” attitude. I pray that I’m wrong and that Jesus hidden in the Sacred Host will bring about conversion.

  • This is looney. 

    1) O”Malley needs to discipline each and every priest who has anything to do with this.  Haul every diocesan employee out of there under pain of firing and/or loss of faculties.

    2) Once the priests and diocesan personnel are removed and neutralized properly, then if these schismatics cherish the Eucharist like they say they do, sooner or later someone will have to consume it.  Or they default on their devotion.  At that point, they will commence using Protestant rites to persist.

    3) Then send someone in, when everything has cooled off a bit and protestant rites have commenced, to anonymously de-sacralize the church.  They have to sleep sometime.  Or figure out a way to do it from outside.  How was it done during the Reformation, for Pete’s sakes?