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Monday, March 20, 2017

Hey Frankie Cocco: Do Us Wise Guys Get Communion Too?

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We're good guys. We wanna go legit. But...fuggedaboudit! We're good guys. We wanna go legit. But...fuggedaboudit!

Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio reached a frightening conclusion in a recent interview with Edward Pentin.  Father Gerald Murray summarizes:

Ready for some casuistry? Should the Catholic Church allow a man and a woman to receive the sacraments in the following case? A woman living with a married but divorced man tells him that she no longer wants to live in sin; the man threatens to kill himself, and she, following her confessor’s advice, stays with him?

In an interview with Edward Pentin, Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio offers this example and says: yes. He refers to his recent book on Chapter 8 of AmorisLaetitia in which he speaks of this case:

“Think of a woman who lives with a married man. She has three little children. She has already been with this man for ten years. Now the children think of her as a mother. He, the partner, is very much anchored to this woman, as a lover, as a woman. If this woman were to say: “I am leaving this mistaken union because I want to correct my life, but if I did this, I would harm the children and the partner,” then she might say: “I would like to, but I cannot.” In precisely these cases, based on one’s intention to change and the impossibility of changing, I can give that person the sacraments, in the expectation that the situation is definitively clarified.”

What’s the harm to the partner in her departure? “But how can she leave the union? He [her civilly married spouse] will kill himself. The children, who will take care of them? They will be without a mother. Therefore, she has to stay there.”

He even states that the woman who desires to end the adulterous relationship would be guilty of killing her partner by leaving: “But if someone says: ‘I want to change, but in this moment I cannot, because if I do it, I will kill people,’ I can say to them, ‘Stop there. When you can, I will give you absolution and Communion.’”

[But this union is a situation of sin, remarked Pentin.

“Yes, however …”

 Isn’t it better to try to stop the situation of sin completely?

“How can you stop the whole thing if that will harm people? It is important that this person doesn’t want to be in this union, wants to leave this union, wants to leave, but cannot do it. There are two things to put together: I want to, but I cannot. And I cannot — not for my own sake, but for the sake of other people. I cannot for the sake of other people.

If the two can live together as brother and sister, that’s great. But if they cannot because this would break up the union, which ought to be conserved for the good of these people, then they manage as best they can. Do you see? That’s it.”]

The argument posed here is a quintessential “hard case” being used to establish a premise in favor of treating publicly-known adultery as no longer an obstacle to the lawful reception of Holy Communion. But this premise sanctions emotionally manipulative coercion and victimizes the woman further by treating her desire to live a virtuous life as the cause of harm to another. Read the rest HERE  

REMNANT COMMENT: So, if a hitman truly wishes to leave the mafia---wants to stop killing innocent people and everything---but would, of course, become a "mark" himself (as would his wife and children) were he to announce his intentions to go clean, is it okay for him to stay on in the mob, continue to kill people AND receive Holy Communion?

Is Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio prepared to greenlight all wise guys who want to receive the Sacraments?  After all, their situation is really, really hard.  Or maybe the Vatican  is not going to remove all ten of the Commandments, but just the Sixth and the Ninth? 

Otherwise, where is this going to stop?  

An abortionist may well face heavy consequences (even homelessness) if he were to quit stabbing babies to death Monday through Friday, right? His wife might even leave him…might commit suicide once she realizes her husband wants to go over to the dark side. So can he keep trotting up to the rail every Sunday?

How about the guy tasked with gassing undesirables in concentration camps? He’s a goner for sure if he suddenly becomes a conscientious objector. He's in a pickle, right? He'll die if he stops the killing.  So in the meantime, is it okay for him to receive Communion, too?

If not, why not?

Inquiring minds want to know just how far the Vatican plans to go with this ALS (Amoris Laetitia Syndrome).


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Last modified on Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Michael J. Matt | Editor

Michael J. Matt has been an editor of The Remnant since 1990. Since 1994, he has been the newspaper's editor. A graduate of Christendom College, Michael Matt has written hundreds of articles on the state of the Church and the modern world. He is the host of The Remnant Underground and Remnant TV's The Remnant Forum. He's been U.S. Coordinator for Notre Dame de Chrétienté in Paris--the organization responsible for the Pentecost Pilgrimage to Chartres, France--since 2000.  Mr. Matt has led the U.S. contingent on the Pilgrimage to Chartres for the last 24 years. He is a lecturer for the Roman Forum's Summer Symposium in Gardone Riviera, Italy. He is the author of Christian Fables, Legends of Christmas and Gods of Wasteland (Fifty Years of Rock ‘n’ Roll) and regularly delivers addresses and conferences to Catholic groups about the Mass, home-schooling, and the culture question. Together with his wife, Carol Lynn and their seven children, Mr. Matt currently resides in St. Paul, Minnesota.