Bishop Paprocki of Springfield IL, Jul 18, 2017, explaining himself about denying communion etc.

In this case in re: same-sex marriages and how (not) to minister to them. Advice sent to his priests and his rebuttal of comments by well-known gay-rights promoter Fr. James Martin SJ, who argued against such advice.

First, Fr. Martin, who

. .  . posted my decree on Twitter and said in a series of tweets, “If bishops ban members of same-sex couples from funeral rites, they must also ban divorced and remarried Catholics without annulments . . . women who have children out of wedlock, members of straight couples living together before marriage, anyone using birth control . . . members of straight couples living together before marriage, anyone using birth control. . . . To focus only on LGBT people, even those in same-sex marriages, without a similar focus on the sexual or moral behavior of straight people is in the words of the ‘Catechism’ a ‘sign of unjust discrimination.”

The bishop:

Father Martin gets a lot wrong in those tweets, since canon law prohibits ecclesiastical funeral rites only in cases of “manifest sinners” which gives “public scandal,” and something such as using birth control is a private matter that is usually not manifest or made public.

Moreover, my decree does not focus on “LGBT people,” but on so-called same-sex marriage, which is a public legal status. No one is ever denied the sacraments or Christian burial for simply having a homosexual orientation. Even someone who had entered into a same-sex “marriage” can receive the sacraments and be given ecclesiastical funeral rites if they repent and renounce their “marriage.

Boiler-plate stuff which Fr. Martin has to know. What he seems not to know is that he is going head-to-head with a very wise lawyer, both civil and church, who respects the law and expounds it with strength and clarity. And teaches at Notre Dame, by the way.

More that Fr. Martin should know:

Father Martin also misses the key phrase in the decree that ecclesiastical funeral rites are to be denied to persons in same-sex marriages “unless they have given some signs of repentance before their death.” This is a direct quote from canon 1184 of the Code of Canon Law, which is intended as a call to repentance. Jesus began his public ministry proclaiming the Gospel of God with these words: “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15).

In other words, those living openly in same-sex marriage, like other manifest sinners who give public scandal, can receive ecclesiastical funeral rites if they gave some sign of repentance. This does not mean that unrepentant manifest sinners will simply be refused or turned away. Even in those cases where a public Mass of Christian Burial in church cannot be celebrated because the deceased person was unrepentant and there would be public scandal, the priest or deacon may conduct a private funeral service, for example, at the funeral home.

The issue, once again, being the public part and scandal, that is, not horror (!) at this or that transgression, but giving witness that condones it and leads people to think the church has changed its teaching. The teaching being what bishops as church leaders are supposed to preserve and protect, not flout.

This bishop has more to say as to private obligations in the matter, as regards the individual and the bishop, whoever he might be.

Read it at the link given above.

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