Canon Lawyer Ed Peters on Pelosi and Archbishop Wuerl

by Steve Ray on May 8, 2009

A response to Abp. Wuerl’s claims that canon law supports his inaction in regard to Nancy Pelosi

Abp. Donald Wuerl of Washington DC continues to defend his refusal to withhold holy Communion from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi in a number of ways, but his recent claims that canon law supports his inaction attract my attention. I think the prelate’s canonical claims are wrong

See why here:

Archbishop Wuerl repeats he won’t deny the Eucharist to Pelosi
Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, DC, told an interviewer that he would not refuse Communion to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi or to other Catholic politicians who persist in supporting legal abortion. “We don’t use Communion in this way,” the archbishop claimed, contrasting the “legal approach” with the “pastoral, teaching approach” that he favored. Criticizing the view that canonical discipline could bring change, he said: “I have yet to see where the canonical approach has changed anyone’s heart.” When asked whether his own approach had changed hearts, “He smiles, and says one has to take the long view.” . . .

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Barbara Edsall May 19, 2009 at 8:39 PM

There are more issues here than just a desired change in Mrs. Pelosi’s heart. She is consistently and brazenly disobeying the explicit directives of the Catholic Church regarding a public official promoting the evil of abortion. At the same time, she claims to be an “ardent Catholic”, scandalizing every Catholic in America and beyond. She has proved her disinterest in her heart being changed by the devious way she described to the press her recent meeting with the Pope. Apparently she and the Holy Father were at two different meetings. Mrs. Pelosi is right behind the Vice President in line for succession to the President in the event of a crisis. Refusal to effect discipline harms every person who looks to the Church for consistency and integrity in the paramount issue of the sanctity of life. Apparently Archbishop Wuerl needs prayer that his perhaps tender heart and/or reluctance to confront be in perspective to the totality of this serious situation.

nilofc December 16, 2009 at 2:27 PM

Archishop Wuerl is fueling the culpability of Pelosi in the eyes of the Church.

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