Thursday, April 19, 2018

Anticipating Attempts To Excommunicate Faithful Catholics - And Combating Them

As said in the previous post, Cardinal Burke gave an address at a conference in Rome last week.  The conference was called, "Catholic Church: Where Are You Going?"  He broached the consequences of any needed disobedience to Pope Francis.  He is speaking primarily of the direction that Amoralis Lamentia explicitly states in its infamous chapter 8 footnote regarding the administration of Holy Communion to adulterers.

The question of excommunication was raised.  The Cardinal said we must be ready to suffer such consequences with Christian patience.

My question is, if such an attempt at excommunication was made, would that excommunication be valid?  Perhaps that "consequence" would not even exist in fact.  Excommunication just can't be done willy-nilly, at the drop of a hat.  Specific conditions must be met for a valid excommunication, along with specific protocol to be followed.

The Catholic New Advent Encyclopedia has a treatise on excommunication.  One sections says, and I quote, "Catholics on the contrary, cannot be excommunicated unless for some personal, grievously offensive act. Here, therefore, it is necessary to state with precision the conditions under which this penalty is incurred."  Right there we see that excommunication can only occur as a consequence of a "grievously offensive act".  What would be these acts that would cause excommunication?  They'd have to be objectively sinful, correct?  Ruffling the feathers of a church leader and/or pricking his conscience would not constitute an "offensive act"!

Moving on down that article, we read, "An excommunication is said to be null when it is invalid because of some intrinsic or essential defect, e.g. when the  inflicting it has no jurisdiction, when the motive of the excommunication is manifestly incorrect and inconsistent, or when the excommunication is essentially defective in form."  Therefore, I ask that if an attempt at excommunication is made in the absence of a mortal sin, does that "excommunication" have any consequence?

I for one think not.  In the face of these considerations, I cannot see how one so "excommunicated" could, in good conscience, submit to that.  In so doing, he/she would be cooperating with the sin of an abuse of ecclesial authority.  He/she would actually be validating an act of abuse and dishonesty.

The cardinal is right to broach these matters.  Given the trajectory of this papacy, especially the manners in which traditional orders and faithful prelates have been thrown under the bus (including Cardinal Burke himself), draconian attempts at excommunication are clearly within the realm of real possibilities.  I can see where some might think the proper response to that kind of abuse might be to acquiesce to it and comply with the "excommunication".  I do not believe it is inherently virtuous to roll over and play dead like that.  Evil must be resisted.  If no excommunication really exists in fact, we cannot pretend that it does.  Such lies must be disobeyed, just like the lie of admissibility of adulterers to Holy Communion.


  1. The real or imagined threat of excommunication in this instance is a ploy used by those placed in a position to give leadership to faithful Catholics not to do so. It cannot be tolerated in these dire times. The excommunication order against José Galat is another instance of prelates coming the heavy-handed against an old man for just upholding the Faith of Ages via his tv channel, nothing else. It shows what men of little faith resort to just because they can. They must be resisted!

  2. There has been saints who were 'excommunicated' but usually for political or personal reasons. A priest in Italy was just 'excommunicated' for his criticism of the pope. This 'excommunication' is a weapon in the hands of the powerful which is seldom used by those who do have very legitimate reasons but more easily done by those with a certain agenda.

  3. Fr Feeney was alledly excommunicated by Cardinal Cushing. Cushing was asked to stop Fr Feeney by his friend Joe Kennedy on the behest of his Jewish businessmen friends who asked him to do so because Fr Feeney was converting so many of their own Harvard student children in Harvard Square's St Benedict's Ctr.
    Years later members of Fr Feeney's own Order traveled to the Vatican where and excommunication must be registered and approved. They found it never was.Before Fr Feeney died the Local Ordinary visited him at St Anne's House convent and assured him he was in good standing with the Church.
    Mt dear deceased friend Mother Teresa of St Anne's who cared for him till the day he died told me the entire story. She said the Jews would spit on the nuns when they went to Boston to visit their Physicians or shop.

  4. This issue interests me especially because of Fr. James Haley. He was told he was excommunicated, but never received any written notice about it. And what was his "crime?" Exposing the problem of homosexuality in the Church in general and the Diocese of Arlington specifically. I started a blog about his case.

    Please pray for Fr. Haley. His birthday was yesterday. In your kindness offer some prayers and sacrifices for him.

    1. Will do. How was he told of this alleged "excommunication"? It may well be that the pronouncement was just so much hot air and nothing to it, that is, has no binding force.

  5. In some ways, excommunication, or attempted excommunication, of those of us who criticize Jorge Bergoglio and his perverted minions would be welcome - and we have learned, one thing they really don't handle well is publicity about their mendacity, their wealth, their schemes, and their heresies. They will think long and hard before they attempt to excommunicate any of us - because that will be worldwide news. Meanwhile, they will use everything in their dark power to silence us. So, don't put your light under a bushel. And revel in being a TBFC-"terror blogger for Christ." Guy McClung, Texas


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