Yea, Gloria is traditio.
Suzanne knows a foul when she sees one and calls 'em like she sees 'em. You have to love those, like the anonymous author on the oddly named Catholic Culture website, who are more Catholic than either pope or bishop. I don't mean that in a snide way- you have to love them. I find it tremendously problematic that the attack piece is anonymous. Go figure! As many of my fellow bloggers know, most of the slash and burn comments to blog posts are also anonymous. What courage!
It also amazes me how many people are chomping at the bit to witness the spectacle of a bishop publicly denying communion to a prominent politician. To paraphrase something Cardinal McCarrick said back in 2004, the communion line in the middle of the church is no place to sort out these issues. Don't get me wrong, there are times when such an unfortunate denial would be appropriate, but it is never a matter to be taken lightly and,in the Catholic Church, such determinations are not left to just any ol' body.
It is fine, even healthy, to disagree with our elected leaders. In my opinion, it is not alright to question another person's motives or intentions. Further, I think it shows a distinct lack of caritas when Catholics challenge another person's faith, saying things like "He's not a Catholic", even when the person is baptized, confirmed, married in the church, attends Mass every Sunday and holy day, is a loving and attentive spouse and parent, generous with their time and resources, etc. Fred asked a good question not too long ago- Can a Catholic be confused? Yes! I daresay there are matters on which I am in need clarification and guidance. Does confusion bar you from communion? Generally, no. Otherwise who could receive? When it comes to those issues of grave importance, as a deacon, it is not my place to decide. The Catholic Church is hierarchical, which means sacredly ordered. In this ordering, some are given the responsibility of shepherding the flock. We can't only be hierarchical when the said hierarch, in this case a bishop, does what we think he should do in just the way we think it should be done. To think in such a way is to arrogate all judgment to one's self and to subject a bishop, who is an authentic teacher of the faith, a successor of the apostles, to your private judgment. How Catholic is that? Not very! Foul, indeed.
When those serious issues arise, I suppose it depends on what you are confused about and what implications your confusion has on the way you live your life and the effect it has on the lives of others, and specifically on the church's communion. Of course, we are not to receive communion being conscious of having committed a grave sin or having committed sins with grave matter. In such cases, who knows but us, God, and whoever else may have been involved? We are left to examine ourselves. Our inward disposition is our responsibility, unless we are engaged in persistent, obstinate, and manifest, that is, public, sinful behavior. Whether the positions of an individual Catholic politician rise to the level of persistent, obstinate, and manifest is not mine to judge and it is not one-size-fits-all. It is not my place to question or impugn Sen. Biden's and Speaker Pelosi's stated personal and moral opposition to abortion. Besides, while the Catholic Church is dogmatically committed to ending abortion, we are not not doctrinally committed to the overturning of Roe v. Wade, as Dennis O'Brien's article shows. How to end abortion, short of formally cooperating with evil (i.e., ends do not justify means), is a prudential judgment. We have to be able to distinguish between ends and means. To wit: Catholics, on the whole, are committed to ending the unjust situation of abortion on demand, but we have legitimate differences about the best way to accomplish this desired end.
In cases likes the ones involving quite a few Catholic politicians, bishops are presented with a complex, not a simple, pastoral problem. Pastoral solutions are not worked out in the news media, they are not spectacular, but worked out one-on-one. Which, as Suzanne astutely notes, is in accordance with the Lord's own teaching, which is what last Sunday's gospel was all about. Hence, Archbishop Niederauer's invitation to Speaker Pelosi to meet. It is great news she has graciously accepted his invitation.
Look at it this way, if you ran afoul on some important matter, would you rather your pastor asked you to meet with him privately or make an announcement at the end of Mass to the entire parish, or begin his homily with something like "I'd like to take this opportunity to let Deacon Scott know, as well as all of you, that he is up-in-the night regarding his unfailing support of the increasingly hapless Oakland Athletics baseball club year after year"?
I liked very much reading the retired bishop of Wilmington, Delaware, Bishop Mulvee's, take on the matter, saying that he prefers communication to excommunication. As Archbishop Niederauer pointed out, though more eloquently, a responsible shepherd, who seeks to imitate the Good Shepherd, does not use his crozier to beat his sheep.