Consequences of Vatican II
Bishop Pilla on Communion to
Kathleen Willet Redle, M.F.A.
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What did Jesus do to the money changers and how did he describe the Scribes and Pharisees of his day? He called these leaders a brood of vipers, like whited sepulchers outwardly beautiful but within full of dead men’s bones. Then he used a whip to clear them out of the Temple, declaring, “My house shall be called the house of prayer; but you have made it a den of thieves!” (Mt 23:27,33, Mt 21:12, Jn 2:14-15). What is happening to God’s house of prayer today? Look around and you see the chaos and lack of clear teaching authority everywhere!
Some characteristics of Bishop Pilla’s “pastoral”
Who are these spiritual leaders today who shirk their responsibility to shepherd the Church? This article will illustrate one such remiss shepherd. You can probably think of several others yourself, given the level of spiritual and sexual abuse that is going on in the Catholic Church today. What did past Shepherds have to say about such negligent behavior in protecting the flock?
Our Lord drives the money-changers from the Temple
• Our Lord called these men “wolves in sheep’s clothing.”
• Pope Leo I said, "He that sees another in error and endeavors not to correct it, testifies himself to be in error."
• Pope St. Felix III said: "Not to oppose error is to approve it; and not to defend truth is to suppress it, and indeed to neglect to confound evil men when we can do so is not less a sin than to encourage them."
One such Shepherd who does very little to protect orthodox teaching, while promoting heterodox practices, is Bishop Anthony M. Pilla of the Cleveland and former president of the USCCB. Pilla’s sanction of the homosexual dissident group “Dignity” is chronicled in Atila Guimarães’ book Vatican II, Homosexuality & Pedophilia (pp. 91-2) as well as various sexual abuse problems and unorthodox goings-on in his Diocese.
These include Bishop Pilla’s foot washing of a woman who had been abused by a diocesan priest, Fr. Marin Louis, when she was 8-years-old. It is a terrible thing that this woman had been abused (this Diocese has covered up many other sex abuse of minors by priests), but it was also wrong for the Bishop to wash her feet when it was forbidden by Rome, since the ceremony of foot washing is a symbol of the all male priestly ordination. Foot washing is a clear sign of ordination that Christ instituted at the Last Supper when he washed the feet of his Apostles.
Bishop Pilla was a pioneer in having altar girls even before a Vatican document permitted this condemned practice. Benedict XIV in the Encyclical Allatae sunt, July 26, 1755, summarizes the opposition of two Popes to women serving at Mass:
Pilla was a pioneer in introducing altar girls, forbidden by Benedict XIV, below.
"Pope Gelasius in his ninth letter (chap. 26) to the Bishops of Lucania condemned the evil practice which had been introduced of women serving the priest at the celebration of Mass. Since this abuse had spread to the Greeks, Innocent IV strictly forbade it in his letter to the Bishop of Tusculum: 'Women should not dare to serve at the altar; they should be altogether refused this ministry.' We too have forbidden this practice in the same words ...." (n. 29).
Another point of the feminist agenda is the introduction of women on the altar by means of liturgical dance. Like Salome dancing for Herod, these dancers try to charm and convince the Bishops they are indispensable for the liturgy. Bishop Pilla allows liturgical dance in his Diocese. Altar girls were first forbidden, then accepted by the present day Vatican, as can happen with this other form of feminine presence on the altar. I hope it will not happen.
In the Cleveland Diocese, Ursuline nuns are teaching the following occult and pagan superstitions to Catholics: Jewish Kabbalah, Tai Chi meditation, Yoga, Shamanism, Chakras, Feng Shui and Reiki. Further they are promoting the Gnostic book The Da Vinci Code. This is one of four New Age “Health and Wellness” centers which the Bishop Pilla promotes. In the April/May 2004 bulletin these centers hosted “Healing Yourself Through Mandalas” (1). The official Diocese of Cleveland website has a page for its ambiguous "Gay and Lesbian Ministry." (2)
For years Bishop Pilla also permitted the group Future Church to meet on Church property. This dissident organization promotes women priests (symbol at right), married priests, and homosexuality as part of its agenda. Only recently did the Bishop reverse his policy and disallow them from meeting on Church property. However, Future Church is still stationed at St. Mark’s in Cleveland.
Pilla on giving Communion to pro-abortion politicians
On the topic of giving Communion to pro-abortion politicians, journalist Colette Jenkins, who was present at a meeting with the Bishop and 35 politicians, reported these words of Bishop Anthony M. Pilla:
“The altar is a place of unity, healing, nourishment and grace. It is not a place for confrontation ... In my view, the battles for human life and dignity and for the weak and vulnerable should be fought not at the Communion rail, but in the public square, in hearts and minds, in our pulpits and public advocacy, in our consciences and communities.'' (Colette Jenkins, "Politics, sacrament don't mix, Bishop says," in the Akron Beacon Journal, July 2004).
This vague language means that the Bishop would give Communion to so-called Catholic lawmakers such as John Kerry and Ted Kennedy, who for years have been writing and promoting pro-abortion laws while voting against pro-life laws that would save unborn babies.
In the same meeting, Pilla continued:
“The view of refusing Communion to politicians who support keeping abortion legal is not part of the pastoral tradition of the Church …. Given the long standing practice of not making a public judgment about the state of the soul of those who present themselves for Communion, the pastoral tradition of the church places the responsibility of such a judgment first on those presenting themselves for Holy Communion” (ibid).
What kind of “newspeak” and double talk is this? It is the same old post Vatican II ploy, claiming that it’s not “pastoral” to correct error and too “judgmental” to correct bad practice and false teaching. Let’s just move merrily along, holding hands and dancing into apostasy!
What does the Church really teach about giving Communion to notorious public sinners?
Code of Canon Law of 1983, canon 915 reads:
Spiritual services at the Ursuline Sophia Center include labyrinth walks
“Those upon whom the penalty of excommunication or interdict has been imposed or declared, and others who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin, are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.”
Canon 916 reads:
“Anyone who is conscious of grave sin may not celebrate Mass or receive the Body of the Lord without previously having been to sacramental confession, unless there is a grave reason and there is no opportunity to confess; in this case the person is to remember the obligation to make an act of perfect contrition, which includes the resolve to go to confession as soon as possible.”
The law requires three grave elements before the sacraments are denied:
• That the person is in mortal sin, which indicates a serious offence against God. A procured abortion, objectively, is a mortal sin with the penalty of excommunication for the one who aborts and all who take part, including the doctors, nurses, and politicians who promote it.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church says:
• That the person overtly and publicly rejects the principles of the Church.
• That the person ““persists in his obstinacy”” and deliberately perseveres in his sinful actions.
“Scandal is grave when given by those who by nature of office are obliged to teach and educate others.” Further, “They are guilty of scandal who establish laws or social structures leading to the decline of morals....” (§§ 2285-2286).
Whosoever would apply these principles to the concrete situation of Catholics who support or promote abortion would necessarily conclude that they are forbidden to receive the Holy Eucharist. Notwithstanding, Bishop Anthony Pilla teaches the opposite.
Anthony Pilla, Bishop of Cleveland
For this reason, after reading Bishop Pilla’s statements, I addressed a letter to the editor to the Akron Beacon Journal, with a copy sent to Bishop Pilla. I transcribe it as my conclusion to this article.
“Regarding Bishop Pilla’s favorable stand in giving Communion to supposedly Catholic pro abortion politicians:
“So how is it "pastoral" or in "Church History," as Bishop Pilla suggested, to allow pro-abortion politicians the privilege of receiving Our Lord’s Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in Holy Communion? Would his fellow Bishop Pope St. Peter have given Communion to a so-called converted Caesar who continued to make pro abortion laws?
“Any unborn life that is snuffed out because of the laws of pro-abortion politicians protected by Bishop Pilla to receive Holy Communion (which condemns them) is worth more than Bishop Pilla’s empty and contradictory words or John Kerry’s actions. These two deserve each other. In contrast I give you Christ’s words, Mt 18:6 "But he that shall scandalize (harm) one of these little ones that believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea.
“Finally, Bishop Pilla, look at the Diadache’s words (c. 65 A.D.) :2:2 ‘Thou shalt do no murder, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not corrupt boys, thou shalt not commit fornication, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not deal in magic, thou shalt do no sorcery, thou shalt not murder a child by abortion nor kill them when born, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's goods, thou shalt not perjure thyself, thou shalt not bear false witness, thou shalt not speak evil.
“This is what we are not seeing nor hearing in your words. There is too much heresy and scandal in this diocese and the buck stops with you.”
1. For the Ursuline nuns, check at http://ursulinesophiacenter.com/cgi-bin/scsearch.pl; for the St. Joseph sisters see http://www.st joeswellness.com/ as well as http://www.sistersofstjoseph.com/links.html.
Posted August 10, 2004
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