Remarriage Worse Than Murder

Bishop Robert Lynch reflects on a “Rubicon” about to be crossed:

Think about it for a moment, I can absolve the most heinous of criminals who seeks God’s forgiveness for the sin of murder and give him or her the Eucharist, but let a twenty-one year old who made a mistake in choosing a spouse for a bevy of reasons return to the Eucharist – no way says the Church and I pray instead for some way. Pope Francis has instilled in my heart a desire for reconciliation of all, forgiveness, mercy and compassion for those who need it and seek it, and a Church which is itself a beacon of hope to those who walk in the darkness of this day and age.

Seems right. A person is murdered. Seems like that person should come back from the dead in order to undo the sin and permit a repentant killer to return to the sacraments.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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11 Responses to Remarriage Worse Than Murder

  1. John Drake says:

    Good grief. I’m glad you’re not teaching RCIA or CCD.

  2. Todd says:

    Teaching? Really!? Why on earth would I want to teach?

  3. muserebende Hytham Ssali says:

    thanks for the reflection your lordship, but i would wish to share with you according to me the causes of divorce. your lordship there is an African proverb, “if u want to get rid of a mango tree remove all the roots”. your lordship some of the reasons why people divorce are poor preparations and unfaithfulness.the second takes the biggest portion. in my view polygamy and a divorced person are not different. there are so many polygamous men adored in the church.have better positions and enjoy sacraments, in the catechism i know and convinced the ideal form of christian marriage is monogamy. so to curb the evil eating our holy church we need to teach each other love , respect and couples to prepare well otherwise divorce teachings will go on and evil behaviors like poly gamy and domestic violence govern the society. Oliver Mirembe.

  4. FrMichael says:

    Ah, now that the Archbishop Weakland has retired in disgrace and Bishop Ziemann is dead, Bishop Lynch reigns as the most noxious member of the Lavender Mafia in this country. He should know something about murder since he had nothing to offer but Hallmark card platitudes during Terri Schaivo’s murder by dehydration in his own diocese. Clearly the satans of this Church are raising their heads out of the primordial swamps of AmChurch in advance of this synod.

    • Todd says:

      Cooking today: accuse a bishop of being gay, and not intervening in what amounted to a family dispute over money. High crimes, both. Label people in disagreement with a simple California priest devils. Yes, we have our Friday priorities. Time to plan a homily.

      • FrMichael says:

        Did Lynch pay $150,000 to shut up his staffer a few years ago? Google will give you the answer.

      • Todd says:

        So you’re an amateur investigator now? Shall we re-designate you FrFrankHardy? Or maybe Joe?

        Look: for all we know, the man may indeed be corrupt. But take a look at your line of questioning, my pseudonymous friend. You conveniently get away from the topic at hand. Instead of addressing the point of unforgiveable sin, you attack the credibility of a person who disagrees with you. And you do so freely under a disguise provided by WordPress. (And that is accepted by me, but wouldn’t be acceptable on other sites that promote a better disclosure.)

        For all we know, you may not be a priest. Or you could be a convicted molester writing from prison. Or even a bishop. We know you present strong opinions, as often or more so about people than issues. Speaking for myself, I don’t choose to waste my time investigating the information the blog platform provides about you. You can speak, or not, to the issues themselves, and do so with a good dollop of freedom.

        I recognize you offer an occasional kindness. But even if you didn’t, I don’t have a problem with an open, partially anonymous commentariat.

        Getting back to the original issue, the perception that some non-clerical sins are unforgiveable doesn’t go unnoticed among the laity. A lot of us think you priests live a rather pampered life, and even relish the burdens you place on others not of your caste. Maybe your time of deciding who’s in God’s good graces and who’s not is coming to an end. Maybe you were never the Last Judges in the first place.

  5. FrMichael says:

    I cannot stand corruption.

    Lynch is corrupt. He paid off the married staffer to save his hide. He is unfit to head a see. It was big news when it happened, although submerged in the tsunami of the revelation of clerical sexual abuse of the young and episcopal coverup. Nonetheless, that such a man– who should have been stripped of all faculties and returned to the lay state– to opine publicly on ANYTHING spiritual is a disgrace. He ought to be doing years of penance, not mouthing off on a subject such as this and gratuitously insulting priests.

    I wasn’t aware that remarriage was an unforgiveable sin. If I had known that, I wouldn’t have filed the four annulments I have in 2014, nor be working on the opening stages of the fifth, nor have submitted who knows how many Lack of Form cases this year, the most recent this past Thursday. But I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know: you have worked in parishes. You know that parish priests deal with remarriage situations all the time. When was the last time you worked for a priest who treated remarriage as the unforgiveable sin?

    And as for those difficult cases where annulments and lack of forms do not apply and the difficult choice is between separating, living as brother-and-sister, or being barred from Communion: I don’t know a single priest who relishes “the burdens you place on others not of your caste.” It’s not a personality type I have encountered and I have met many priests of many theological stripes and ethnicities. But in any case, is that a burden so different from clerical celibacy? Different yes, but in the same ballpark, an unnatural limitation of emotions and passions in furtherance of a greater spiritual good.

    Lynch/s comment, “…but let a twenty-one year old who made a mistake in choosing a spouse for a bevy of reasons return to the Eucharist – no way says the Church…” is a complete straw man from a bishop who, to put it charitably, has trivialized his office and ministry.

    If you don’t want me to post here, just let me know and I’ll disappear forever.

    • Todd says:

      Hi FrMichael, you are free to read and post here, certainly. I welcome your alternative point of view. You keep me and others on their toes, when you are at your best.

      I don’t feel I owe you any special treatment, honors, or any such. When you post here, you’re just a man. Nothing more, nothing less. You tell me you’re a priest, and your word is good enough for me. But you behave sometimes not like one, so if I harbor a doubt, I can keep it to myself. And others, they can think as they wish.

      I do not have a personal experience with Bishop Lynch. You present yourself as being 3,000 miles away, so I’m not sure you necessarily have real knowledge or especially credibility.

      Maybe a classmate from seminary tells you. Maybe you read it on LifeSiteNews. Maybe you read some actual legal documents from whatever county in Florida. You have sour grapes over Terri Schiavo. Who can tell? There’s a lot getting thrown around in this conversation.

      I suppose maybe there are a lot of people who would wish the man wear prison orange. Sometimes, we have suspicions, but there’s no case here. And I doubt your bishop (or wife, or boss) would give you leave to sleuth it out in the Sunshine State. So what you’ve done is avoid the issue of marriage somewhat and decided to tar someone on another issue with an opinion that differs from yours. You are free to do that on this site, unlike others. I just note it weakens your case rather than strengthens it.

      I too dislike corruption. But more, I dislike a lack of mercy. If all declarations of nullity were removed from the hands of clergy, I suspect things might get tougher for some and easier for others. I used to muse that priests lack the expertise to make decisions on marriage, but I suppose I make public statements about the suitability of some clergy, so I’ve softened on that over the years. Ideally, clergy and laity would work more closely on all aspects of the sacramental life of orders and marriage. No question we have room to grow, learn, and be merciful.

      If you were a priest, you would also know people in second marriages are frequently barred from becoming Catholic because of a lack of a declaration of nullity. It happened in my own family, and it was nothing of straw. It was an abject lack of mercy, and it contributes to the reality I’m pretty much the last person in my family outside my own household to remain Catholic. And whose marriage got “protected” by that nonsense?

      So yes, please continue to comment or even pontificate. But don’t expect to get any special treatment because of your caste, whatever it might be.

      *And a note to readers listening in on this. It is my ordinary practice when semi-ignorant statements p*** me off to respond to them in private, by email. But since this poster doesn’t choose to provide an authentic address, I don’t feel badly about taking this personal matter public, especially since he has brought other personal matters into this thread.

  6. FrMichael says:

    “If you were a priest, you would also know people in second marriages are frequently barred from becoming Catholic because of a lack of a declaration of nullity.”

    I do indeed, although I would put it more as “are frequently delayed from becoming Catholic…” My experience is that reception into the Church is delayed a year more often than prohibited once the annulment is worked out.

    I do hope the question of natural marriages of non-Christians or mixed Christian/non-baptized couples contracted prior to the catechumenate gets addressed at this synod. I personally find it inappropriate that non-Catholics need to endure the Catholic Tribunal processes for acts made when neither party was Catholic. It is an apparent anomaly in our canonical system and IMNSHO could be changed without threatening the truths of the Sacrament of Marriage as revealed by Divine Revelation.

    Blogs are best for the exchange of ideas. I don’t expect special treatment because of the “Fr” in front of my (Confirmation) name: my ideas can stand or fall on their own. I also grant that my public and online temperament is different from most parish priests. However given my understanding of the “inside baseball” nuances of parochial ministry over the years I have shared here and the few other blogs where I choose to comment, I think it would be clear to long-term comment readers that I am what I say I am, a parish priest. But my clerical status is not as important as the exchange of ideas and the spiritual fruit I receive from reading the excerpts from Church documents that you so assiduously post.

  7. Todd says:

    “I personally find it inappropriate that non-Catholics need to endure the Catholic Tribunal processes for acts made when neither party was Catholic.”

    That’s a surprising and merciful concession I have yet to hear from any synod talking head just yet.

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