Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Canadian priest tries politics...or does he?

Responding to an issue reported here, among other places, that a notoriously anti-Catholic Catholic priest has been given permission to run for political office, Dr. Ed Peters has posted a nice analysis of the relevant canon law. He states quite to-the-point:

Under the 1983 Code, Catholic priests are flatly prohibited from holding governmental office: Canon 285.3 plainly states "Clerics are forbidden to assume public offices which entail a participation in the exercise of civil power." The legislative history of this norm makes obvious the Legislator's intent to eliminate any exceptions to this rule.

He does bring up a couple of remote possibilities where it could be judged "possible" to allow a dispensation under Can. 87 and 90 but also, IMO correctly, states the thought that such a dispensation would serve a "spiritual good" is laughable. How exactly allowing a dissident priest the ability to enforce his warped views on sexuality, abortion and more by voting on laws would possibly bring about a "spiritual good" is positively beyond me. If anything, the good Father deserves the same result as was given to Fr. Marcel Maciel - a lifetime of prayer and penance. People who attack the Church from a position of power and drag down unwitting sheep of Her flock have much to answer for.