Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
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The Question Box
by Father I.J. Mikulski
(From the April 8, 2010 edition of the Inland Register)
Q. How was it decided the laity should not get involved in the question of politicians and Holy Communion? We are fully aware that the church teaches abortion is a grave sin and partial birth abortion is an atrocity. When bishops allow the pro-choice politicians to receive Holy Communion under the guise that all culpability lies solely with the individual communicant, not them, isnít that a double standard?
A. Letís take your observations one point at a time.
The Q. B. is not aware of any bishopís decision, even a mild rumor, that the laity, even one person, should not get involved in this current conflict of consciences. This is a confrontation of moral leadership thatís reminiscent of Moses rattling the gates of heaven on Mt. Sinai.
Weíre talking about killing a helpless pre-born person. Weíre talking about crushing the skull of a person being born. Catholic moral theology has consistently taught that abortion is a mortal sin ever since the first catechism, the Didache, a.k.a. The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, was written about 100 AD. ďYou shall not slay the child by abortion.Ē Catholic theology has not waffled for 20 centuries.
Your statement that Catholic bishops ďallowĒ pro-choice politicians to receive Communion is not correct. Bishops do not allow aberrations to the moral code. Bishops explain the Catholic code of conduct. Bishops tell pro-choice Catholics not to come forward for Communion because that would violate the Catholic moral code.
That leads to a final comment. When a Catholic pro-choice public official appears in line to receive Eucharist should the bishop, priest or Eucharistic minister refuse to give him or her the sacrament? Ask for a statement of faith? Of conversion? Donít ask, just give the Eucharist? For all we know, that person may have been reconciled with sincere sacramental absolution just before Mass.
Q. How should I understand the coming millennium as predicted in Revelation? Itís fascinating when itís explained and fits together for our spiritual growth in knowledge. Why wasnít this explained years ago in our Bible?
A. Ah, it was, it was. In the days when giants walked the earth and the Q.B. scrivener was a freshman exposed to Latin, Greek and Hebrew Bibles, the profs said there would be days like this.
The apocalyptic style of writing was popular for about 200 years before and after Jesus Christ, B.C. and A.D. Authors mixed divine inspiration with human imagination, using coded colors, symbolic numbers, strange beasts and suffering people. In the spirit of the times they borrowed a little from Enoch, Ezra and Daniel. A popular theme then, and still today, is predicting the cataclysmic end of the world. There is no more fascinating topic in all literature.
And there must always be an evil monster, Satan himself, chained for 1,000 years but slowly breaking loose for the final attack. It ends with the resurrection of the dead when the virtuous survivors are rewarded and the wicked are punished. Revelation, also called Apocalypse, is a perfect selection for the final book in the Bible. It has all the elements for a wondrous prophecy.
When will it happen? Jesus Christ gave the best response. ďAs for that day and hour, nobody knows it, neither the angels of heaven, nor the son, but the Father only.Ē (Matthew 24:36) So where are those fervent fundamentalists getting their inside info? Is there a leak somewhere, an angelic double agent?
Q. Would you please say something about predestination? My fiance has been taken over by it and he likes the very word.
A. Pre-destination, in the strict sense, means we can do nothing about our salvation. Itís beyond our control. We are all sinners in various degrees of turpitude, always have been and always will be.
Some of us will be saved through the grace of God without our cooperation; others will be damned forever, like it or not. Either way, our eternities have already been decided as a sign of Godís justice. There is no need for a final judgment.
John Calvin, French theologian and former Catholic, proposed that interesting belief at the height of the Reformation.