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When Father Bruce Cecil walked up and down the pews
during Sunday Mass, he shook all hands, extending an animated smile and his
peace to everyone.
And when he held the host high above the altar, broke it and placed it in
a goblet next to the wine, he spoke to all.
"Brothers and sisters," Cecil said in Spanish. "This is the
sacrament of our faith."
Cecil, who’s been preaching at Our Lady of Soledad
Catholic Church in Coach-ella for five years, didn’t ask anyone for
their stance on abortion, gay rights, stem cell research or corporal punishment.
Politicians, as of late, haven’t been so lucky.
Of course right off the bat we notice that Fr. Cecil was
committing a liturgical abuse by walking up and down the aisles shaking everybody’s hands.
[72.] It is appropriate “that each one give the sign of peace only to
those who are nearest and in a sober manner”. “The Priest may give
the sign of peace to the ministers but always remains within the sanctuary,
so as not to disturb the celebration. He does likewise if for a just reason
he wishes to extend the sign of peace to some few of the faithful”. “As
regards the sign to be exchanged, the manner is to be established by the Conference
of Bishops in accordance with the dispositions and customs of the people”,
and their acts are subject to the recognitio of the Apostolic See.
And of course the boilerplate for all articles that talk about
Communion and Catholic politicians must include this part:
It’s not uncommon for politicians, even those who profess religious
faith, to take stands that seemingly conflict with religious teachings.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Catholic, is also pro-choice. President George
W. Bush supports the death penalty.
I always enjoy the unbiased journalism of using terms such as
"seemingly conflict ." Supporting murdering a child in the womb only seemingly conflicts with thou show not kill. In reference to the Bishops statement on Catholics
in Political Life:
Father Cecil felt it was a fair decision.
"If a politician, or anyone, wants to call themselves Catholic, they
should adhere to the Catholic religion," Cecil said after his third Mass
of the day. "A church is not a club where you get to pick and choose."
Cecil said that, according to the church’s teachings, issues like abortion
and the death penalty are black and white.
Fr. Cecil gets the first part right and then calls the death
penalty issue black and white.
Cecil said the church has an obligation to take a stand on these
And some church-goers agreed.
"People learn from church," Raul Monroy of Thermal said about how
denying lawmakers with contradicting religious and political views could teach
Catholic morals. "Learning from the streets isn’t right."
California lawmakers’ beliefs also differed on how religious beliefs
relate to political service.
Sen. Jim Battin, R-La Quinta, said Kerry’s conflict with the Church’s
abortion teachings are of interest to voters.
"It tells you something about the man," Battin said. "I think
it’s legitimate to talk about."
The relevance may come from a model politicians are meant to uphold, said
Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia, R-Cathedral City.
"If there are some guidelines within your religious faith I don’t
think that should be a discussion in politics," Garcia said. "But
if you hold yourself out as this type of person and you’re saying ‘do
what I say but not what I do,’ then it creates a problem, whether you’re
a politician, a teacher, a banker or whatever."
Schwarzenegger, however, disagreed. Through a press secretary, Schwarzenegger
described the issue as a private matter between a Catholic and a priest.
For the most part, Cecil said the decision to take communion is, and always
will be, a personal one.
"It should be up to the individual conscience," he said.
Now first Fr. Cecil says the Bishop’s statement was fair and
then he says it is up to individual consciences. If his Bishop decides as
a pastoral matter that pro-abortion Politicians should not receive Communion
in his diocese then it would not be up to just the individual conscience. The
individual who is aware that they are not in communion with the Church should
voluntarily refrain, but in the case of public sinners who persist in manifest
sin it is then up to the priest in accordance with the official
interpretation of canon 915.
…"The one that should judge is God," said Cindy
of Coachella. "Not the people or the priests."
Well then let us let everybody out of prison since according
to her we have no right to judge people’s actions. People often confuse the
Jesus’ statement to not judge with normal judgment of actions. We can not
judge interior dispositions or a person’s final fate, but we certainly must
judge external actions when appropriate. I am sure that if someone holding
a knife came running at her that she would immediately judge that person as
doing something wrong that needed to be stopped.
And as far as Gov. Schwarzenegger goes it should be "Asta la
vista, Sacraments," until he repents of his pro-abortion view. After that he can say ” I’ll be back.”