feb 282011

I USA er en katolsk guvernør skilt og er nå samboende med en annen kvinne (som også er gift tidligere, men ikke er katolikk). Denne mannen mottar fortsatt kommunion i Den katolske Kirke, og dette har skapt en hel del debatt. Kirkerettsprofessoren Edward Peters (som har en interessant blogg) tok opp dette, fikk svar fra bispedømmet og ble kraftig angrepet i liberale National Catholic Reporter. Peters svarer deretter igjen, og prøver å forklare at dette egentlig er ganske enkelt: Lever man i synd må man vende om, gjør man ikke det, må man i alle fall ikke motta kommunion, hvis man fortsetter å leve i synd og fortsetter å motta kommunion, må Kirken gripe inn og stoppe dette. Dyneløfting er heller ikke nødvendig i denne sammenheng; når en mann og en kvinne lever sammen (og ikke er i slekt e.l.), er dette allerede en tydelig nok moralsk ‘skandale’. Her er et lite utdrag av Peters siste artikkel:

The first ‘resort’ in solving a problem of wrong conduct is for the individual to right the conduct. None of us is supposed to sin. When we do sin (and we all sin, CCC 1847), we should, through the grace of God, repent of it, and strive to avoid it henceforth; indeed, we should replace sin with good. If (and usually when) we again fail to do that, we should start over, knowing that God’s grace is always there. The first step, then, toward resolving this particular problem (which happens to come to our attention for the reasons set out below) is for Andrew Cuomo to cease cohabiting with a woman who is not his wife. This first ‘resort’ is not canon law at all, it is rudimentary and utterly uncontroversial traditional moral theology.

The second ‘resort’ in a case like this – and where canon law makes its first appearance – is this: when an individual knows that he or she has gravely sinned, that person, of his or her own volition, should decline to approach for holy Communion before going to Confession. Canon 916 puts this second resort in simple terms, but again, anyone with a basic understanding of moral teaching and a basic appreciation of Who the Eucharist is, should know to avoid taking holy Communion under such circumstances.

… The third focus, and in a sense the ‘final resort’, in a case like this one, is Canon 915, which falls primarily to the diocesan bishop to enforce. … Where a member of the faithful manifestly (i.e., publicly) and obstinately persists in conduct that is gravely objectively wrong, and that person does not, in the meantime, at least refrain from approaching for holy Communion, the minister of the Eucharist must withhold holy Communion from him or her.

The unwedded cohabitation (an act public by its nature) of sexually mature, non-familiarly related adults, gives seriously wrong example (i.e., scandal) to the community. Ecclesiastical authority need not verify that two such people are actually doing ‘it’ before moving against the grave scandal offered by such behavior, …. “eye witnesses are not required” to prove certain forms of misconduct.

Moreover, in direct proportion to the prominence of the individuals involved (can we say, state governors and television celebrities?), the degree of scandal is widened, and if either or both cohabiting individuals are divorced from prior spouses, the scandal is multiplied. And we have not even touched on Cuomo’s canonical situation being further complicated by, say, his strong support for legalized abortion. What part of this analysis is so controversial?

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