I have always been bothered by the lack of ecclesiastical discipline exercised by the Roman Catholic Church. High profile politicians (John Kerry and Rudy Giuliani, for example) have been allowed, by the Church, to call themselves Roman Catholic, while promoting views and practices that oppose "their" church. Only in a few cases has the RC Church exacted any discipline on her members who defend to such sinful practices as embryonic stem cell research and abortion. I have long marvelled at the deafening silence of the RC Church as it relates to our own governor's (Kathleen Sebelius) advocacy of abortion rights. The lack of discipline exercised by the RC Church, particularly here in the United States, is one of the reasons it has become a non-factor in the political and legislative arenas. Still, having said all that, I was pleased to read the following today:
Senator Claire McCaskill Disinvited From Daughter's High School Commencement Over Stem Cell Debate
ST. LOUIS — Sen. Claire McCaskillwas disinvited from speaking at her daughter's Catholic high school commencement because her positions on abortion and embryonic stem cell research are at odds with those of the church.
Students at St. Joseph's Academy in the St. Louis suburb of Frontenac wanted to have McCaskill speak at their graduation this month, McCaskill spokeswoman Adrianne Marsh said Tuesday.
But the offer was rescinded last week. The senator was told by the school that the decision came from St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke, Marsh said. Marsh said the senator, a Catholic, understands that her positions supporting abortion rights and stem cell research are different than those held by the church, but she's made peace with them.
The Democratic senator had seen the chance to speak at commencement as a special opportunity because her daughter is one of the graduates, McCaskill said in a statement.
"I'm disappointed that the Archbishop has made this decision. It does not diminish my respect and admiration for St. Joseph's Academy, their faculty, and students."
Archdiocesan spokeswoman Anne Steffens said, "The decision was not made by the archbishop." She said he wasn't part of discussions on the matter.
The president of St. Joseph's Academy, Sister Michaela Zahner, said she made the decision to rescind the invitation to McCaskill after receiving a call from the archdiocesan education office.
She was told of an archdiocesan policy that forbids providing a public forum for speakers who do not hold to truths as they are presented by the Catholic Church. Zahner said the policy clearly reflects Burke's position.
I would only ask for more wide-spread disciplinary actions on the part of the RC Church toward it's members, especially those who are in positions that have influence in promoting wickedness. Not allowing such people to speak at graduations is a start, but how about excommunication if there is a refusal to repent of such positions?
I am appreciative of the pro-life efforts of many Roman Catholics. Frankly, I wonder how many people would be picketing the various abortuaries across our country if it weren't for Roman Catholics, not to mention the many counselors serving at various crisis pregnancy centers as well. This is a case of the leadership letting down it's people. If you analyze the RC pro-life movement, it's largely promoted by "regular" priests and many lay people. The RC hierarchy in the U.S. has largely been inactive regarding the official discipline of members who support and promote such wickedness as embryonic stem cell research and abortion. Eventually this lack support in the form of formal ecclesiastical discipline will demoralize the troops who are keeping the pro-life issue ever before our culture.
The Bishops, Archbishops, Cardinals, and Pope need to apply much more accountability to the members of the RC Church.