Saturday, March 15, 2008

Poncho ladies excommunicated

~via In the Light of the Law by Ed Peters, JD, JCD
The four-page decree of excommunication deserves to be read in its entirety, but I'll summarize the sanctions themselves, for they are quite interesting.

1. All three women (Fresen, Hudson, & McGrath) are declared to have incurred latae sententiae (automatic) excommunication under Canon 1364.1 for schism. The consequences of excommunication are set out in Canon 1331.2.

2. All three women are also declared to have incurred ferendae sententiae (formally imposed) interdict under Canon 1371.1 for pertinaciously rejecting a definitive truth of the Faith (namely, that women cannot be ordained priests) subsequent to a specific warning to avoid such conduct. The consequences of interdict are set out in Canon 1332.

3. One of the women (Fresen) is declared to have incurred ferendae sententiae excommunication under Canon 1379 for simulating a sacrament other than the Eucharist or confession (here, holy orders). The consequences of excommunication are set out in Canon 1331.2.
Please read Ed Peters' observations. Worth the read. I especially like what he said in the second footnote:
The use Abp. Burke made of Canon 747.2 I thought was very insightful. That provision is usually understood to be oriented ad extra as a defense of the Church's right to speak out on social affairs. Abp. Burke's invocation of it in this case reminds us that Church leadership must also look to their own houses and not neglect their charges to comment on others'. Part of Abp. Burke's credibility when he speaks on social issues arises, I think, precisely from his willingness to make hard decisions within his own community.
Let's see how the media spin this. But we must continue to pray for conversion of heart.

4 comments:

Adrienne said...

The whole thing is rather sad for everyone involved:(

Tom in Vegas said...

I agree with Adrienne. It's sad for everyone involved in this unfolding.

TheCrankyProfessor said...

Poncho ladies!

Argent said...

I agree that it is sad all around.

It's sad that there were no pastors along the way in the women's spiritual formation who clearly said to them, "No, the Church has no authority." Instead, their "aspirations" were nourished and stoked to their souls' detriment.

Did no one around them tell them, "Look, no amount of sincerity can make your aspirations real."

One of the sicknesses of our modern culture is this wretched idea that sincerity trumps truth. If I believe something hard enough, then it must be the real.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions, no?

So although it is sad that the women are excommunicated, still, they have life and where there's life there is hope (as the saying goes)...and we pray for their conversion. This in effect is what Abp. Burke is saying to them, "Repent and be reconciled." He's calling them from the edge of the abyss....

For me, the temptation is to feel triumphant at their getting their just deserts. But charity demands that I pray for them since their actions have injured the Body and the witness to which we're all called to bear and for their souls that God loves so well beyond my comprehension.