Tuesday, November 01, 2005

And We'll Know That They Are Catholics By Their Anger, Part 24,965

Our good friend Papabile -- currently on hiatus -- sends this nota along from an Italian wire service:
The European Union leader Romano Prodi must be excommunicated. It seems like a joke but is in fact a request made by the association in Verona "Family and Civilty" addressed to Benedict XVI, to the secretary of the Vatican State, to other high ranking officials in the Holy See including the Sacra Rota Court. The association, founded by ex Cisl union activist Palmarino Zoccatelli, that follows integral Catholicism, is known for its traditional viewpoint. Prodi should be excommunicated "latae sententia" - i.e. automatically - for his position against the church as far as moral issues and abortion are concerned, says the Verona association. The reasons for the charge are expakined in detail: Prodi, according to the association, has breached the obligations of a catholic party, has failed to observe "with Christian obedience, that which the Holy Ministers say on moral issues and on abortion" and has not observed the obligation of communion with the Church. Zoccatelli refers to recent comments made by Prodi in public, in particular to what the ex EU President said about civil unions. Culpable comments, according to integral Catholics, that merit an immediate excommunication, "given his refusal to submit to the Pope ". A response is awaited from the Vatican, if indeed one is to be provided....
It seems like a joke because the people making the request are, as usual, ridiculous. These people are even to the right of Rino Fisichella -- no liberal heresiarch, he.... As John Allen pointed out

The issue of Catholic politicians generated a rare moment of tension at a Vatican news conference, when an Italian reporter asked Archbishop Rino Fisichella, rector of the Lateran University and chaplain of the Italian parliament, if he would give Communion to two well-known Italian politicians: Romano Prodi, the center-left's candidate for prime minister in looming national elections, and Pier Ferdinando Casini, a member of the center-right governing coalition and speaker of the lower house of parliament. Prodi has recently signaled openness to a law regularizing "couples of fact" which is opposed by the Vatican, while Casini is divorced.

Fisichella responded that he "did not see a reason" for refusing Communion to Prodi....
Um, wouldn't we be better off if everyone recommitted to living their faith better as opposed to castigating and scapegoating others? Or is that too difficult a task?

Then again, you're nobody til somebody judges you, so find yourself somebody to judge.



Blogger Jeff said...

Okey-dokey. But if we're going to leave all politicians alone, no matter what they advocate, does that include everything? If we get a neo-segregationist Catholic, a la David Duke, is it "angry" to call for him to be disciplined? What about an out-and-out Nazi who wants to gas the Jews? Or is it just going to be the pet causes of the left, after they've become "normal"?

1/11/05 17:32  
Blogger patrick said...

FWIW, members of the SS and the SA were banned from receiving communion in the German Church. That changed when the Holy See entered into a concordat with Nazi Germany, and the Church changed its policy: SS members were permitted to receive communion in their uniforms.

An interesting historical nugget that can mean whatever you want it to mean!

I don't recall whether Hitler was ever declared excommunicated.

From a practical point of view, I think its wise for the Church to tread lightly. Excommunicating Prodi could provoke a serious persecution of the Church throughout the European continent - a persecution that probably the members of this pressure group could not withstand.

1/11/05 18:04  
Blogger patrick said...

From the ever-helpful Catholic League...Hitler was in fact never excommunicated. Here is a defense of the non-excommunication:


"In critically assessing what actions Pius XII might have taken, but did not take, on behalf of the Jews of Europe, his defenders and critics alike point to his "failure" to excommunicate Hitler and other Nazi party leaders. Indeed, many of the Pope's "defenders," including this writer, wish (and believe) that papal excommunication should have at least been attempted. Such sentiments notwithstanding, there is abundant evidence to suggest that the excommunication of Hitler would have been a purely symbolic gesture, and would not have accomplished what its proponents hoped for. Hitler, Himmler and other Nazi leaders were, to be sure, baptized Catholics who were never excommunicated. Had Pius XII excommunicated them, his critics claim, such an act might have prevented the Holocaust, or significantly diminished it. On the contrary. There is much evidence to suggest that a formal order of excommunication might very well just have achieved the opposite.

When Don Luigi Sturzo, the founder of the Christian Democratic movement in wartime Italy, was asked by Leon Kubovny, an official of the World Jewish Congress during the Holocaust era, why the Vatican did not excommunicate Hitler, he recalled the cases of Napoleon and Queen Elizabeth I of England, "the last time a nominal excommunication was pronounced against a head of state." Pointing out that neither of them had "changed their policy after excommunication," he feared, Sturzo wrote Kubovny, "that in response to a threat of excommunication," Hitler would have even killed more Jews than he had. Writers and scholars familiar with Hitler's psychology share Sturzo's fear, believing that any provocation by the Pope, such as an order for excommunication, "would have resulted in violent retaliation, the loss of many more Jewish lives, especially those then under the protection of the Church, and an intensification of the persecution of Catholics." This is, I believe, a compelling argument that cannot be ignored. It is one, moreover, that is supported by the testimony of Jewish Holocaust survivors, such as Marcus Melchior, the former Chief Rabbi of Denmark, who attests that "if the Pope had spoken out, Hitler would probably have massacred more than six million Jews and perhaps ten times ten million Catholics, if he had the power to do so.""

1/11/05 18:11  
Blogger patrick said...

One thing that is wrong in the excerpt I posted is that I believe King Henry III of France was excommunicating for murdering Louis II, Cardinal of Guise. And that excommunication did put enormous pressure on the King and probably was the inspiration for his own assasination. But the situation of the Church in France was quite different from that of the Church in the EU today.

1/11/05 18:23  
Blogger justplaincath said...

I seem to recall that Castro, a head of state, was excommunicated.

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

1/11/05 22:54  
Blogger Gene O'Grady said...

As I recall from the days of my youth, Castro was de facto excommunicated for "laying violent hands on a bishop," i.e, tossing the guy in the clink -- possibly even employing one of his firing squads. I remember him being used as an instance of sins reserved for a bishop in high school religion classes.

In other words, this was an understood excommunication rather than a big announcement

2/11/05 11:18  
Blogger Fungulo said...

'instance of sins reserved for a bishop in high school religion classes'

You're joking, surely?

Whoever set THAT into the curriculum REALLY has some answering to do . . .


It's no wonder the people who comment on these blogs (present company included) need REAL lives!

2/11/05 14:37  
Blogger George Collie said...

I think Elizabeth I may be getting her revenge with the new ICEL tranlations of the Mass. Maybe I am overstating the similarity to Rite I and the Anglican Missal, but the new translation reeks of Anglican usage. Which makes sense since Father Harbert, the director of ICEL, is a former Anglican and used to teach English lit at Oxford.

What does this have to do with Prodi, the Nazis and the SS? The implicit comparison of Hitler and Queen Elizabeth I in the response by Don Luigi Sturzo.

The idea that liberal Catholics have responsibility for the practice of abortion is ludicrous. There is no evidence that outlawing abortions saves unborn lives.

2/11/05 15:25  
Blogger Gene O'Grady said...

I may be naive, but what is extraordinary about discussion of reserved sins in a religion class ca. 1962?

By the way, I have had a life -- and, with some exceptions, what I picked up in religion classes in 2nd, 4th, 10th, 11th grade has contributed a lot more benefit to it than following the dictates of the contemporary cool people would have.

2/11/05 18:35  
Blogger Gene O'Grady said...

For what it's worth, some background on Don Sturzo. Sturzo was much more directly active in politics than we expect a priest to be, was a dedicated anti-Fascist, perhaps the last guy with a chance to stop Mussolini's consolidation of power until he was undercut by the Vatican. Spent 1925-1946 in exile. So his defence of papal policy should be taken seriously. And I don't think he was comparing Elizabeth I to Hitler, he was comparing situations as the Vatican saw them

2/11/05 18:38  

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