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uh oh, exactly what I was afraid of!

March 22, 2012

Well, yours truly is truly humbled that Dr. Peters and Fr. Z thought me worthy of mention on their blogs.  I was warned that I might not want to allow comments.  Like a pit bull, I guess, I have the personality that likes to keep tugging at an issue until I am satisfied that everything has been teased out of it.  People who have left comments (thank you, btw) have raised some points and pointed me to other posts.  Readers are lucky that it’s my day off today, and that I have been glued to the computer most of the day.  So I am feeling somewhat obligated to make a response – but, as I was afraid, I can’t do this type of monitoring every day!  It’s Lent: I have a parish mission starting tomorrow, need to get work done on the Holy Week ceremonies.  Honestly don’t know how some of the bloggers keep up with schedules that are busier than mine, I’m sure.

A good canon law professor once told me, “Never give a canonical opinion right away. Tell the questioner you need to think about the answer, and then sit on it for a day.” Well, I’m about to disregard his advice.  Gonna have to put the blog away for the day but will offer, perhaps rashly, these thoughts:

Thomas asked me if canon law can contradict the sensus fidelium.  Well, he added the modifier ‘correct’ — not sure it was correct to do that. I am not an expert in the theology of canon law.  His question is, to some extent, more a theological question than a canonical one.  My only sense is that the sensus fideliumcan hardly be tied to one very specific issue steeped in particulars.  It does not apply to the particular case of Fr. Guarnizo.  It could apply to the question of to whom does a minister of the Church deny Holy Communion.  Even admitting that, we must not forget that the sensus fidelium does not apply to one particular period of history but to the whole history of the Church. So there, I have ventured outside into deep waters into an area where I am unqualified to give a complete answer.  But may I also remind readers that my post, while briefly expressing agreement with and support of Dr. Peter’s opinion about c. 915, was really about so-called administrative leave.  Scriptor’s letter reproduced on Rorate caeli deserves careful reading.  I hope to be able to do that and even to comment on it later.  Diane asks if the question were only about a person who admitted being a non-practising Catholic, ie. didn’t attend Sunday Mass habitually, would it make a difference?  No.  Such a person could have gone to confession immediately before Mass and the priest wouldn’t know it, or, even if he knew that she had been absolved because he had heard her confession, he cannot use that information outside of the confessional.  You cannot refuse her Communion in that scenario, either. Finally Bobbie argues that most of the people at the funeral knew the woman was lesbian.  Irrelevant to the issue.  Father didn’t know whether or not the congregation knew at the moment he met the women in the sacristy. Maybe she hadn’t come out to her family.  We know now the circumstances, but Father didn’t know themthen.  With those quick answers, this newbie blogger must leave his computer.  It’s been a great first day!

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