Friday, February 18, 2005

Arinze speaks out on EWTN
Lifesite.net has two brief excerpts from Cardinal Arinze's EWTN interview. (Arinze is the head of the curia's Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, so he's the top liturgist for Catholics.) While this interview has been cause for almost as much rejoicing as the hoped-for overturn of the Roe v Wade decision, I just don't find the beef in this sandwich. When asked about pro-abortion politicians receiving Communion, the cardinal said, "The answer is clear. If a person says I am in favour of killing unborn babies whether they be four thousand or five thousand, I have been in favour of killing them. I will be in favour of killing them tomorrow and next week and next year. So, unborn babies, too bad for you. I am in favour that you should be killed, then the person turn around and say I want to receive Holy Communion. Do you need any Cardinal from the Vatican to answer that?" The only problem here is that no politician I know has ever said this. A political person might say (as they have), "I would never have an abortion. I would never advise a woman to get one. But I won't deny her the choice." And the issue is not so transparent. What Arinze does imply is that by EWTN's standard, if our president were to become a Catholic, he would not be eligible for Communion because of his own hedging on the issues of incest and rape. On another issue, the cardinal said, "The Catholic Church has never accepted homosexuality as normal. You read the scripture. It's very clear. What exactly are we examining? Are we going to change Divine Law, how God made us?" This last question, very intriguing, given the context. The cardinal clearly believes homosexuals are made not born. It's clear to most people this question if far from settled. Some people have homosexuality imposed on them: in prisons, in sexual abuse or rape, in the military. Many others seem to have been gay from before any time of conscious decision on their part. Was it genetics? Was it early upbringing or trauma? The questions are so hyper-charged with politics, we may not know the answer for a long time. I don't find myself terribly sympathetic to anyone who uses the celebration of Mass as a time and opportunity for protest, however just the cause may be. I don't know that every Rainbow Sash wearer is actively homosexual by definition. But if people came to a Mass just to protest Rainbow Sash folks coming to Communion, I don't think it would be appropriate for them to receive the Sacrament either. It would be unthinkable for a protester to barge in on a wedding, a funeral, or a baptism to protest a cause, however just. My problem with Sashers or Orthodox protesters is that they shouldn't come to Communion because of their abuse of the liturgy, not because their particular cause is just or right.

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