Friday, April 15, 2016

Loosely connected thoughts

I have never heard anyone boast of “living as brother and sister”. Never. I'm not saying it's impossible. I'm saying I've never heard such a thing.

And my point is: the public appearances of things are how scandal is given (or taken) more than the facts in private life. And the CIC 915 is about The Public Appearances of Things. Ed Peters recently expresses it: "Canon 915 [...] does not require Catholic ministers to read the souls of [...]", well, the souls of anyone.

Of course, there are also canons about who may approach our Eucharistic Lord, and there is Scripture about not giving scandal, and so — perhaps, not that anyone else should be watching who approaches the altar, nor that writing More Canons is going to help anyone, but perhaps — it might be a fruitful clarification of the law that knowing that public Communion might scandalize, even being certain with well-formed conscience that one has confessed and repented of all known mortal sins, one should not approach for public Communion.

The oft-mentioned Fahrenheit 351, plainly, talks of sacraments, in the plural, and the usually-reasonable folk I read do express a supposition that this means, even in Francis' mind 1) Confession and 2) possibly Communion. And the patently obvious solution to everyone's troubles on this point is: if there's some situation that, on the Outside looks like Obstinate Grave Sin, but after careful well-informed examination cum sentire Ecclesiae it isn't ObsGrS., Then Private Communion, continuo post confessionem is a fine thing indeed. A very old, well-known, fine thing. Some Copts explained to me, once, that in their understanding of the sacraments, Communion is the consummation of Confession. As in: genuinely a distinct Sacrament, but manifesting in particular the penitent's Reconciliation to the Lord.

A very old solution to a very old problem. I mean... It's not as if any of our problems these days are new! Even ill-formed consciences are not new.

What may be new is the Frequency and Immediacy of Noise About Them. Electronic communications being so new, we don't yet know how to deal with it, really, but ... This shall pass, or the World shall pass first. But even then. Hardly the most important thing.

Be cool, O My Neighbors, and God be with ye.


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