Friday, March 11, 2011

Cardinal Mahony: “Christ gave Communion to Judas Iscariot”

Cardinal Mahony explains why he’s against refusing Communion to pro-abortion politicians, discusses other hot topics in LA Times interview

(California Catholic Daily) Cardinal Roger Mahony, the now-retired Archbishop of Los Angeles, is against denying the Blessed Sacrament to pro-abortion public figures and says California’s bishops became uneasy with the tone taken by backers of Proposition 8 in their successful 2008 campaign to amend the state constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman.

In a lengthy swan song interview with veteran Los Angeles Times reporter Tim Rutten, Cardinal Mahony reflected on his tenure as LA’s archbishop and answered questions about what Rutten characterized as “a distinctly countercultural stance on a range of pivotal social issues” by U.S. bishops.

Rutten’s articles on the interview were published in two parts – the first on Feb. 26, the second on March 9. It was in the March 9 article that Cardinal Mahony’s views on Communion for pro-abortion politicians and Proposition 8 were published by the Times.

“While some of Mahony's brother bishops appear as if they won't be happy until they get the chance to deny Communion to elected officials who deviate from church teachings, Mahony has resisted taking that step,” wrote Rutten. “Why? Canon law, he notes, puts the responsibility for worthy receipt of the sacrament on the person approaching the Communion rail rather than on the priest.”

"It isn't for us to guess at what's on someone's conscience," Rutten quoted the cardinal as saying.

“Moreover,” wrote Rutten, “the cardinal mused, Christ gave Communion to Judas Iscariot at the Last Supper, though the apostle had, that day, committed his betrayal.”

"You know, throughout the Gospels, Jesus never appeals to punitive measures to change anyone's life.... A person who runs for elective office is still a Catholic and obliged to bring his or her moral principles to public policy,” Cardinal Mahony told the Times. “But being an elected legislator is a different role with its own responsibilities, and if they aren't able to act on those principles, the church can't say, 'You didn't make it happen, so you're guilty of something.' We can't do that.”

"I just try to extrapolate it out in my own mind: OK, so you've got a Catholic legislator who votes for a pro-choice piece of legislation, and you're going to say that automatically leads to punishment?” Cardinal Mahony continued. “Well, does that mean that the chief of staff who didn't stop him or her from voting that way also can't go to communion? Does that mean that the secretary who handles their paperwork also can't go? I mean, where does it end?”

"It also won't work,” Rutten quoted the cardinal as saying. “Americans -- Catholic or non-Catholic -- always side with the individual faced with punishment by the institution. Anything punitive always rebounds against the institution doing the punishing rather than the person receiving it."

“Mahony also took what some would find a surprising approach to California's Proposition 8, saying that though he and the state's other bishops support traditional marriage, much of the campaign waged on its behalf made them uncomfortable,” wrote Rutten.

"Like a lot of Catholic people, we were torn,” Cardinal Mahony was quoted as saying. “There are many gay Catholics, and many of our people have family members who are homosexual. While we support enshrining the biblical tradition of marriage, we didn't want to be part of any attack on homosexuals. So when people tried to make the campaign for Prop. 8 an attack on homosexuals, we couldn't be part of it."

“Mahony went on to say,” wrote Rutten, “that ‘maybe we need a system similar to the ones countries like Mexico or France have, where there are two officially sanctioned ways for people to come together. One is that they come legally together by going to the courthouse and signing a civil registry, and then afterwards, if they choose, they can have a religious ceremony -- Jewish, Catholic, whatever, that they call marriage. The civil coming-together is available to everybody, so it wouldn't be that some have this and some have that, as is the case with civil unions. Everybody would have this.’”

To read the full article in the Los Angeles Times, Click Here.


Mike said...

The Cardinal should know that Judas did not turn Jesus over until after he received Communion. Until that point he could repent and return the money. God doesn't punish us for sins we have yet to commit.

As for punishing the secretary, methinks the Cardinal needs a lesson in immediate material cooperation.

It also boggles the mind that a Cardinal would want the US to be more like Mexico.

Oh, this is sad.

Cathy_of_Alex said...

Yeah, and look how that turned out...but Mike is correct.

Jo Anne said...

I live in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. I think the Cardinal's tenure is pretty much summed up in that Jawa sandcrawler of a cathedral. Our Lady of the Angels deserves better.

And, oh yeah...I don't think Jesus had liturgical dancers at the first Mass. Via con Dios your eminence.

Please pray for Archbishop Gomez.