by Alexander Slavsky • ChurchMilitant.com • February 8, 2018
Women allowed to stay in Call to Action in violation of diocesan law
LINCOLN, Neb. (ChurchMilitant.com) – The bishop of the diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska is restoring full communion in the Catholic Church for five women who will remain members of the heretical group Call to Action Nebraska (CTA) — a move causing concern among faithful Catholics.
According to media reports, Bp. James Conley is offering the five women the lifting of their excommunications on an individual basis. Conley, two diocesan officials and the five CTA Nebraska women are reported to have been in talks at the chancery regarding since September 2016.
“Bishop Conley just desires all Catholics to be in union, so he wants to make that possible for as many people as possible,” commented Fr. Nicholas Kipper, spokesman for the diocese of Lincoln. “That’s really the goal of any bishop.”
Church Militant consulted a reputable canon lawyer, who remarked that the unity of the Church “will be seriously damaged by the strange decision of Bishop Conley, because now a Catholic in his diocese can simultaneously be a member of opposing groups that advocate mutually exclusive and contradictory doctrines.”
“The public unity of the Faith among Catholics is now torn asunder within the Diocese of Lincoln,” he added.
Bruskewitz declared members of other groups to be excommunicated, including Planned Parenthood, the euthanasia advocacy group Hemlock Society, the schismatic Society of St. Pius X, the Freemasons and five other associated organizations, calling their respective activities “perilous” and membership in them “incompatible” with the Catholic faith.
The diocesan interdicts and excommunications are only contracted by those who attain or retain membership in the forbidden groups within the diocese of Lincoln, but the effects of the censures hold everywhere under canon law.
I have been clear from the beginning that no Catholic should become a member of Call to Action. I believe it poses a danger to the Faith. However, I am willing to consider rescinding the excommunication in individual instances where members, currently not prepared to leave CTA, reaffirm their commitment to the full teachings of the Catholic Church.
Now remission of censures such as excommunication requires, not surprisingly, repenting of the delict [here, membership in CTA] and making some suitable reparation for the scandal caused by one’s membership (cc. 1347, 1358). So, how does retaining a penal law against membership in an organization, but remitting the penalties incurred thereunder despite not resigning membership, square with common sense?
The canon lawyer continued:
The best-case scenario is that the bishop is being ill advised by the canonists providing him counsel, who clearly have little to no expertise in penal canon law. Case in point: Has anyone informed Bishop Conley of the automatic reincidence of the censures of interdict and excommunication upon the newly absolved CTA faithful, by operation of the particular law itself, should those faithful not renounce membership in the forbidden group? It does not appear so. The worst-case scenario, on the other hand, is that he is being duped by canonists or brother bishops advising him who have a greater agenda if not card-carrying membership in certain groups or parties themselves.