Tuesday, April 12

Self-contradiction, Vatican style

"Denver Archbishop Chaput asked Notre Dame University Catholics this weekend to press for Church policy that would deny communion to U.S. Catholic politicians who support pro-choice or pro-gay rights positions. The speech comes in the wake of surveys that show most Catholics don’t agree with Chaput on the issues." (full story here).

In the speech, Chaput is attempting to argue for unity among the bishops to withhold Eucharist from those who, in conscience, hold social or political views contrary to those which the Church deliniates.  If he can achieve that, then it will become infallible doctrine as per the Ordinary Magesterium, even if the official standpoint of the RC Chruch changes at a later point.

The trouble is, that violates infallible doctrine regarding the Primacy of Conscience.

For a moment, let us ignore Scripture (Sirach 15:15-17, Luke 12:57,1 John 3) and patristic Tradition (Francis of Assisi, Thomas Aquinas, Cardinal Newman).  Ignore the Deposit of Faith entirely.  Let's just consider the Magesterium, as set forth at the  Second Vatican Council:
This Vatican Council declares that the human person has a right to religious freedom. This freedom means that all men are to be immune from coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups and of any human power, in such wise that no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs, whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others, within due limits. (Dignitatis Humanae, 2)
That would mean that Chaput and those bishops who agree with him are guilty of, as Aquinas puts it, "a species of infidelity in men who, having professed the faith of Christ, corrupt its dogmas" (II-II:11:1); that is, to say, heresy.  More importantly, it is heresy of the first degree, being pernicious adhesion to a doctrine contradictory to a clear point of faith defined by the Church.

Except, of course, if Chaput can get all the other bishops on board...maybe.


  1. So Archbishop Chaput thinks that people that support equal rights for gay people should be denied communion? Does he think that people that hate homosexuality and gay people should be denied communion?

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  3. Archbishop Chaput holds that the Church should stand between the salvation that Eucharist affords and anyone (politicians, in particular) who support pro-choice or pro-gay rights positions.

    I have never heard him come out explicitly against homophobia. I imagine the 'hate the sin, tolerate the sinner' rhetoric would be the response, but I am loathe to put words into his Grace's mouth.

  4. "privately or publicly"... that would seem to cover it.