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Saturday, 11 October 2014

"I hope in God’s mercy, but I do not presume upon it, " Says a Sucker Who Believes in Sin, Confession, Absolution, and the Real Presence

Louise Mensch is my new hero.
She writes beautifully, she is obviously faith-filled - but what sets her apart, (including from certain princes of the Church,) is her unassailable logic.

I used to think, and hope, that if certain hard choices were presented to me I would do what is right, or, if I did what was wrong, that I would not compound it.
And I discussed it with friends from time to time What do you MEAN you don't use birth control?Oh. ...

Wait, what do you MEAN you don't have sex? Oh.... 

Wait, what do you MEAN if you can't marry the man you love in the Church you'll accept that?

I was never forced to make a choice.
But Mrs. Mensch, (who is a real mensch,) did.
It has never occurred to me to present myself for Communion when I have not sought — for various reasons that I won’t discuss here — to have my first marriage annulled. I know I am not a good Catholic, and I am living a life that the Church considers to be adulterous. Yet I am in good spirits, as I hope in God’s mercy. But I do not presume upon it. My Catechism says that is a further mortal sin, as would be the unworthy reception of Holy Communion.
People in my state are explicitly encouraged, in the Catechism, to attend church, and to make a spiritual communion, as I do each week. I have the hope that one day I will be in a state of grace and able to receive Holy Communion again. I hope that, despite my ongoing sin, God nonetheless hides me in the shadow of his wings; that Mary, hope of sinners, has her cloak of mercy cast about me. I am a poor Catholic but I am also a believing Catholic. Yet there is a faction within the Church that evidently considers ‘believing Catholic’ to be a hopelessly old-fashioned clique that they must get shot of, alongside lace mantillas and kneeling at the Communion rail....
Next week an Extraordinary Synod of Catholic bishops, summoned by Pope Francis, will meet to discuss the family. Catholic reformers are full of hope that, under his guidance, the bishops will liberalise the Church’s teaching on divorced and remarried Catholics....Tablet magazine devoted a cover story to the subject. It filled me with dismay. 

The Tablet article was called ‘The Case for Mercy’ and, reading it, I felt like pleading for us suckers who actually believe the basics: sin, confession, absolution, the Real Presence and the like. What Cardinal Kasper appears to want to do is to tempt a generation of people into weekly mortal sin. How is that merciful? How is that helping?

I happily join her in proclaiming myself a Sucker Who Believes in Sin, Confession, Absolution, and the Real Presence.

(Oh, one quibble, not with her, per se -- is it possible that the Church could find that any sin, while remaining a sin, was not a grave sin, was not necessarily mortal? Just wonderin'....)

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